What do you believe your future holds? No matter what you may or may not expect, you can be assured that in Christ you have been given a new future! We have seen how Christ gives us a new way to live, a new message to share, and a new identity. Now, we will learn about our new future. In today’s text, Paul acknowledged the sufferings of the Christians under the Roman rule of Emperor Nero. Tensions were rising, and persecution was imminent. Paul includes himself in verse 18 when he talks about “our present sufferings.”
Regardless of the trials and hardships, they were experiencing, Paul directed them to a future in Christ. He reminded them that at the Second Coming of Christ, believers will see the fullness of God’s glory. Verses 19–21 is Paul’s commentary on Genesis 3. As Jesus returns, the curse will be lifted and creation will be liberated and free. But this doesn’t diminish the pain and suffering people experience in the meantime.
Not only do people “groan” for the Second Coming of Christ, but all of creation does as well (v. 22). The tragedies of nature and natural disasters remind us that our future is one when all of creation will be redeemed. Paul compares this misery to a woman giving birth. Immense pain will be followed by an overabundance of ecstasy and joy.
Perhaps the most challenging part of our new future is the fact that we have to wait for it patiently (v. 25). Waiting is never easy. Whether it is for a job callback, the end of COVID-19, or the birth of a child, waiting is difficult. But as we wait for things on this earth, we are reminded that ultimately we are waiting expectantly for Christ’s return.
>> What do you look forward to the most in your future with Christ? Is it the absence of consequences of the curse? Perhaps it is just being
with Jesus? Waiting isn’t easy, but it’s worth it.
Lord, we would be dishonest if we pretended that our present suffering doesn't matter. Yet today's pain can't compare with the future joy you have promised us. We look forward to spending eternity with you!