Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Bethany Bullet - July 22, 2014

Earlier in Romans Chapter 8, Paul reminded us that so significant are our sufferings to our God that He:  
  1. Invites us to bring them to Him in prayer
  2. He roots us in a community that will care
  3. He, in Christ, our sufferings He has come to share

Now on the heels of declaring that, “Our sufferings are insignificant when compared to the glory that is to be revealed in us.”  Paul goes on to say until that time, when glory is revealed, we shall groan.  What synonyms come to mind when you think of the word “groan”?  Whimper, grumble, grouse, and complain are listed in my thesaurus.   Nothing could have been further from Paul’s mind when he chose this word.  In the context of Romans 8 “to groan” means to yearn, or long, or desire.  It is NOT suffering that we yearn, long and desire for; rather it is freedom from such that shall fully be ours at the coming of Christ. 

This is why our sufferings are INSIGNIFICANT when compared to the glory that awaits:
v  Our sufferings are momentary – our Glory will be eternal. 
v  Our sufferings are natural – our Glory is miraculous. (By natural I mean that suffering, while sometimes caused by a personal decision is always the result of the human condition even when NOT the result of individual action.  Glory is only the result of God’s intervention and the redemption that comes in Christ.) 
v  Our sufferings are in measure to be expected – our Glory is the undeserved gift of God.

So we groan.  We groan the prayer of the church, “Come Lord Jesus.”  That prayer is simply asking the Lord to make ours by experience what is ours currently by promise.  “Come to claim your own, Come to set all things right, Come to set your people free finally and forever.”  Yet, in our sufferings we often feel we suffer alone (we don’t and that was established earlier, yet nevertheless we often feel that is the case.)  We certainly do not groan alone! 
V  The Creation groans with us. 
V  The Counselor groans for us. 
V  The Children of God groan together; desiring, longing, yearning for our Lord’s returning – “Come Lord Jesus.”

-Pastor Kevin Kritzer


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