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Present Pain, Powerful Hope

Read: Romans 8:18-25

The sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. (v. 18)

When my first child was born, my father said, “Having a child is like spending the rest of your life with your heart outside your body.” I understood what he meant when my children experienced their first vaccine shots, skinned knees, stitches, and heartbreaks. I wept when my children wept and groaned when my children groaned. Their pain is my pain.

Paul tells us that all creation groans with the pain of human sin (v. 22). The Holy Spirit, who hovered over creation in the beginning, groans with the pain of every creature. God so loves the world that he allows its pain to be his pain.

However, creation’s pain is not the agony of death. It is the anticipation of life. It is labor pain. The Holy Spirit who presided over creation has begun the work of re-creation. He who made all things is making all things new. Human beings, whose sin brought the fall, are first in line for salvation. All creation looks to our redemption as a preview of the restoration that is to come. The apostles call Jesus “the firstfruits” of the new creation (1 Cor. 15:20). His resurrection is the guarantee not only of our own resurrection after death, but of the renewal of heaven and earth. The Spirit who groans is the Spirit who gives hope. Our present pain will give way to a glorious future. —Ben Van Arragon

As you pray, offer God your pain and receive his hope.

About the Author

Ben Van Arragon is a pastor, husband, and father of two teenage daughters. He has served the First Christian Reformed Church of Detroit since 2008. He writes and produces video teaching on the Bible and Reformed creeds and confessions. His writing for Words of Hope includes series on Jeremiah, Exodus, and Work and Rest.