Not Long Now!
My God, all is not as it should be. My soul thirsts for You, the living God (Psa. 42:2). I long for You.
Read Romans 8:18–39
18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19 For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.
22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.
26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.
28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.
More Than Conquerors
31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhen was the last time you felt a longing and hunger to be in God’s presence?
One word that Paul uses to describe the Holy Spirit is arrabon (2 Cor. 1:22; 5:5; Eph. 1:14). It means deposit, down payment, guarantee or pledge. In modern Greek the word means “engagement ring.” This is a really good description of Christian experience: it is rather like being engaged. The relationship with “our beloved” is real; we enjoy so much together, but we are still waiting for the fulfillment of all we have tasted so far. So, in addition to all of the wonderful things already described in this chapter, we also experience suffering (18), frustration (20), longing and waiting (23). But we wait in confident hope because we have already experienced the “firstfruits” (23) of what is to come.
Central to this passage is the idea of hope (24,25). Christian hope is not wishful thinking, but confident expectation on the basis of what we have already received from God. So, in this time of “now and not yet,” we can be confident in the love of God, the one who is moving the whole of creation irresistibly towards his chosen goal. And Jesus, having already crossed the finish line, is doing everything he can to enable us to get there too (34).
Write down God’s promises in this passage and keep the list somewhere to encourage you as you wait in expectation for the Lord.
We have an active role to play in bringing about God’s Kingdom through prayer. Allow the Spirit to pray through you now.
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