Thank You, Lord, that, on this Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, I can celebrate the eternal freedom I have in You.
Read Romans 8:18-39
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Romans ch. 8 begins with “no condemnation” (1) and ends with “no separation” (39). What a wonderful promise to those who are by faith “in Christ Jesus.”
Paul says that we are to walk in step with the Spirit as we live by the Spirit (Gal. 5:25), and in these verses he explains that there will be difficult times to face. When I face suffering, I’m often tempted to moan and groan and wonder what the Lord is doing. Moaning is futile, but vs. 18-27 tell us of a kind of groaning which is filled with hope.
Paul describes creation groaning, using “frustration” (20), “bondage to decay” (21) and “pains of childbirth” (22) as words to describe this. But this groaning is temporary; one day, it will be turned to glory (18). Creation stands on tiptoe in eager excitement for liberation for itself as well as God’s people (19,21; Psa. 98:8 describes this joyful hope, also). Believers groan, too–but not in despair. We groan because we look forward to a completeness still to come, enjoying God’s glory in perfect resurrection bodies (23-25). The Spirit also groans, as we struggle to know exactly what to pray for (26), and the Spirit prays in perfect agreement with God’s will (27). We may struggle to know what to pray for, but the Spirit knows as he comes alongside us in our weakness, and puts our groaning into words that make sense to God.
Paul then wants us to celebrate God’s eternal commitment to believers. Note the many questions that Paul uses (31-36). He is forcing us to stop and consider the wonderful truth of the super-invincibility of the Christian. Who can be against us if God is for us (31)? Can anyone bring a charge (33)? Can I be separated from the love of Christ by any person or situation (35)? Pause and savor each wonderful reminder of God’s total commitment and grace to us in Christ.
Think of a difficult or confusing time in your life. Ask God to instill the wonder of these verses in you and make v. 28 your watchword.
Mighty God, after reading this passage I’m, “… lost in wonder, love, and praise.” Thank You for all that’s mine in Christ, and I pray for power to walk in his victory.