Romans 8:19- “ For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. NKJV
There are so many truths in Romans that I sometimes wonder if I should just skip a few of them and move on. Such was my thought as I read verses 18-25 of the 8th chapter. However, after deciding that I could skip this part, the verses would not leave me. A clear sign that I am to stop here and see what God is saying to us!
If you have ever studied history, or geography, then you know that the world we live in boasts of a variety of landscapes where people have learned to live, work, and play. One of my favorite past times is walking in my neighborhood, and as I do so, I often think of the Creator and thus creation. Birds are singing and flitting around; branches extend from their trees waving at passersby; the sun shines brightly and the wind blows softly, making the walk a most pleasant experience. And in all of this beauty, Paul wrote that creation groans!
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.Romans 8:18 NKJV
Paul mentioned previously that if we suffer with Jesus, we shall also be glorified with Him. He is encouraging the believers in Rome, and every believer after them to remember that we are going to go through some things in this life. And as we go through, or suffer, these sufferings should be a reminder to us that we shall one day be glorified with Him. Then Paul states that the sufferings in our daily life does not compare to the glory that shall be revealed in us!
The writer of Hebrews spoke of the sufferings of Jesus in this manner:
Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.Hebrews 12:2 NKJV
Jesus understood persecution! He is the One who said:
These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”John 16:33 NKJV
Therefore, while He was being slandered, made fun of, spit upon, beaten, slapped, and nailed to the cross, His mind wasn’t on the suffering, the pain, or the shame! His mind was on the right hand of the throne of God! His mind was on every believer that would be freed from the kingdom of darkness and translated in His kingdom! His mind was upon us and the glory of reconciling us to the Father!
Paul also understood persecution! His life and ministry was not easy. Recently I heard a shocking statistic about ministers and pastors who are leaving the ministry in droves, or committing suicide. Paul would have encouraged them in the Lord, reminding them that although they were suffering, there’s glory on the other side! Have you heard the song, “After This”? There will be glory after this and Paul was saying that it far outweighs the trials that we are currently experiencing!
Yet, every believer will not suffer to the same degree that Paul, and some other believers have experienced. We can live a life in Christ that isn’t a life of physical persecution. Persecution and suffering come in many degrees and variety. The devil tries to be creative! But be clear of this truth, there is persecution for every believer in Christ! If the devil isn’t bothering you, it could be because you are not bothering the devil!
Paul wrote that the glory of God shall be revealed in us. Since His glory was what He crowned man with in creation, it makes perfect since that His glory will be revealed in us. I don’t know what all of that entails, but I believe that the day will come, maybe when we are changed from mortality to immortality, that God’s glory will be revealed in us!
Creation, Paul continues, is waiting with expectation, for the sons of God to be revealed. This is where it gets really interesting to me!
For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.Romans 8:19-22 NKJV
We know that when Jesus was born, angels burst forth out of heaven and sang to the earth! We also know that when Jesus was crucified, the earth had a response. Luke wrote that the sun darkened (hid its face) for about three hours. Matthew included other details: there was an earthquake, rocks split, graves opened! Creation groaning at the crucifixion of Jesus!
One thing I noted, was that God subjected creation, not willingly, but He did so in hope for His children. This seemed weird to me, except that I remember what God said to Adam after he sinned:
“Cursed is the ground for your sake; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, and you shall eat the herb of the field. In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for dust you are, and to dust you shall return.”Genesis 3:17 -19 NKJV
In making sense of this, creation was taken from a state of peace, to a state of discord, representative of the state of mankind. Creation was placed in bondage at the same time that man was placed in bondage! Creation was to see corruption, the same way that man was to see corruption. Life and death for all of His creation! Bondage for all of His creation! This is deep! When mankind is restored to sonship in all of its glory, the earth will be restored to its former glory.
Isaiah wrote what this will look like:
The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze; their young ones shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play by the cobra’s hole, and the weaned child shall put his hand in the viper’s den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain,Isaiah 11: 6-9 NKJV
For the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.
Isn’t it something how the things in God’s word come together when you stop to think about it? Well, this may be a stretch for some of you, but it makes perfect sense to me.
Creation groans! This explains the natural disasters that we hear about all over the world. God isn’t causing it! The devil isn’t really causing it! But when sin entered the world and God subdued creation until redemption is complete in mankind, the earth began to groan! I have absolutely never seen this before! Thank you, Lord!
Tsunamis, earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, volcanic eruptions, all fall under the banner of the earth groaning! And why is it groaning? Because it’s waiting with expectancy for the glory of God to be revealed in us when Jesus returns! This is exciting news!
The next time I hear of a natural disaster I know what will come to my mind! The earth is groaning again! Have a wonderful day with Jesus! Wonderful Jesus!