Sunday – January 30, 2022
Word On Worship – Sunday – January 30, 2022
For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.
Often people observe the terrible suffering in the world and doubt either God’s love or His power. The argument is especially emotional when we consider little children suffering physical or sexual abuse or the horrible effects of war or natural disasters. We think, “It’s one thing if wicked people suffer such things, but how could a God of love and power allow these precious little children to suffer such things?” But Paul shows that all life is suffering, in the natural world and in the human experience, and it stems directly from man’s fall into sin.
Creation’s present subjection to corruption and futility is the result of a divine decree by God. But Paul pointedly writes that God subjected creation to corruption and futility “in hope” (verse 20). Just as the Christian’s present condition of suffering and groaning is temporary so is the suffering and groaning of creation. Creation awaits the day of its own redemption from the chaotic consequences of sin when its present condition will be set aside. There is hope for creation. God’s purpose for subjecting creation to corruption and futility was not to destroy it but to deliver it.
Groaning is not a response of despair but a response to pain and suffering. Paul writes not of a groaning over what will be but over what now is. If creation’s groaning is present, its hope of glory is focused on the future. Like the creation, we who have been justified by faith suffer and groan. Our groaning is due to the present corruption and futility we see both within us and without. Sin, dwelling in our flesh and in this fallen world, causes us to groan. Hope is a prominent theme in our text and knowing the certainty of the future glory gives us hope to persevere. The pangs which creation presently suffers are like birth-pangs for they promise a glorious delivery. These pangs lead not to death but to deliverance, life, and liberty. There is hope for creation and the believer.
The fact of terrible suffering does not undermine the fact that God has a plan and that He will accomplish His plan. If we become anxious or depressed in trials and lose hope, it’s because we’ve forgotten the absolutely certain outcome: Future glory forever with Christ! Yes, there is present suffering because we live in a fallen world. But God has promised future glory. Keeping that in view will enable you to persevere any suffering with hope.