Between a contested presidential election and upcoming, high-stakes runoff elections in Georgia, there is a lot of hand-wringing about the future right now, wondering what will come next for our nation. In these moments, whether we are on the winning or losing side, perspective is of utmost importance. One question that always pulls us back from focusing too much on worldly issues is, "What can man do on earth that God has not already condoned?" When we think this way, we remember that God is in control and He loves us unconditionally. Romans 8 expresses incredible hope, joy, and understanding of what great things are to come by God's hand but also why we wait with anticipation. Today, read the Message version of Romans 8:18-28 below and be encouraged no matter what you are feeling about current events.
"That’s why I don’t think there’s any comparison between the present hard times and the coming good times. The created world itself can hardly wait for what’s coming next. Everything in creation is being more or less held back. God reins it in until both creation and all the creatures are ready and can be released at the same moment into the glorious times ahead. Meanwhile, the joyful anticipation deepens.
All around us we observe a pregnant creation. The difficult times of pain throughout the world are simply birth pangs. But it’s not only around us; it’s within us. The Spirit of God is arousing us within. We’re also feeling the birth pangs. These sterile and barren bodies of ours are yearning for full deliverance. That is why waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother. We are enlarged in the waiting. We, of course, don’t see what is enlarging us. But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy.
Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good." - Romans 8:18-28 MSG