Sunday, May 20, 2018

Romans 8:22-28

All the screaming, groaning, and pain associated with childbirth makes us think that something terrible is happening. But… The whole of creation is at that point where the birth pangs feel overwhelming. 23 And it’s not just all of the cosmos that is in excruciating pain as the new creation prepares to be born; we experience it internally, too. As a foretaste of the good to come, God has already filled us with his Spirit. So we eagerly anticipate the coming day of delivery -- when our bodies will be set free and (please excuse the mixing of metaphors) we come into our own as adopted children of God. That’s what all the groaning is about -- a vocalization of our hope for delivery -- salvation. 24-25 Hope is the starting point for this salvation. That is, if the delivery were already complete we’d no longer be hoping. By nature, hope has to do with patiently waiting for what can’t be seen because it is still coming.

26 Yet, at the point where we feel overwhelmed and traumatized by the pain of life, the Spirit jumps in to do his thing. We’re so exhausted in the midst of this painful waiting that we don’t even know what to pray for. But the Spirit intervenes, and citing our unexpressed groans, he pleads with God on our behalf. 27 This is actually to our benefit because God and the Spirit are on the same wavelength at the deepest possible level. So, when the Spirit is pleading on our behalf -- coaching us through the birth -- he is doing so in a way that is totally consistent with God’s agenda. 28 Because of this, we know that he will work out everything, from the joyous to the tragic, to the benefit of those who are in love with God -- those people who are called to live out his agenda.