“For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.” (v. 18).
Romans 8:18-23 is a passage for those who know sorrow, pain and disappointment; it’s for the ones experiencing confusion, frustration and fear. There are three key words in this passage that can reveal to us how to make sense out of suffering: bondage, liberty and hope.
Bondage deals with yesterday’s curse. Romans 8:20-21 says, “For the creation was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of Him who hath subjected the same in hope, because the creature itself shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption…”
God made a perfect world; He gave us perfect freedom, so that we may know perfect love. God made us free to choose, because forced love is not love. In the beginning, God gave Adam and Eve the ability to choose. When they chose evil, sin entered the world and all of creation fell into bondage. God cannot destroy evil without destroying freedom. And if God destroyed freedom, He would destroy love. Yesterday’s curse is upon everything: the animal kingdom, the mineral kingdom and all of mankind.
If bondage is yesterday’s curse, then liberty it tomorrow’s conquest. When Jesus comes again as He promised in the Book of Revelation, the kingdoms will change. Adrian Rogers says, “This dear great God who has redeemed us will turn every hurt to a hallelujah, every tear to a pearl, every Calvary to an Easter and every sunset to a sunrise when Jesus comes.”
Because bondage is yesterday’s curse, and liberty is tomorrow’s conquest, then hope is today’s comfort. Because of sin, all of creation is in pain, even the Christians. But we have this hope because of the groans of the Comforter. “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities…” (v. 26) The groans we endure are temporary, but the glory we expect is eternal.
Here is our hope: we are predestined and preserved for glory. The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared to the glory which shall be revealed in us.
Apply it to your life
Are you going through a season of suffering? Remember the bondage of yesterday’s curse and the liberty of tomorrow’s conquest so that you can know the hope of today’s comfort.