Hope in the Face of Suffering – Romans 8:14-30
Let’s face it, life is tough. It’s not IF you suffer, it is WHEN. Disappointments, heartache, illness, death, financial problems, loneliness, and the list goes on. Many Christians seem surprised when these things happen to them. Are you one of them? Do you feel a sense of entitlement as a Christian that excuses you from suffering? We should not be surprised that suffering comes, the Bible clearly tells us suffering will come (John 16:33). It is part of this world. When Adam opened the door to sin suffering rushed through as well. In Romans 8 Paul tells us that the present world is not the world God intended. Want to know what God intended for us? Read the first two chapters of Genesis and the last two chapters of Revelation. THAT is what God intended and created. The rest of the Bible is God trying to fix the mess we created when we disobeyed Him. And the fix included sacrificing His own Son to redeem us from our sin.
But God does not leave us in this world to fend for ourselves. He is with us in our suffering (Hebrews 13;5, Matthew 6:25-34). He gave us His Spirit who intercedes for us when we can only groan our prayer for help (Romans 8:26). This world is not our home. We are simply traveling through, on our way Home. Romans 8 promises that God has prepared a glorious Home for us free from suffering. Paul says our present suffering is not worth comparing to the glory that God will reveal to us when we finally get Home.
Yes, we may have to suffer a while but not without hope because suffering will end. All suffering ends for the Christian when they reach Home. That is the hope in the face of suffering. We wait, with both patience and eagerness, for the resurrection of our bodies, when our adoption will be completed. We are already freed from condemnation, but not yet completely freed from sin. We are already in the kingdom, but it is not yet in its fullness. We live with hope of the age to come, even as we struggle with this present age.