Romans 8:18-27 (NIV)
Present Suffering and Future Glory
18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19 For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. 22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. 26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.
What about the persecution of Christians in Paul’s time would help explain Paul’s words of comfort in this passage?
Lord, this world is falling apart. It is filled with evil, destruction, hatred, anger, illness, isolation, and fear. People are attacked for their opinions, their beliefs, and their faith. We are persecuted for standing up for the freedom to worship, to speak, bear arms, and to vote legally. They inject lies, manipulation, and cheating and cheer when people lose their health, jobs, businesses, and homes. What has this world come to? I sometimes struggle to even know how to pray anymore. Paul suffered greatly through beatings, imprisonment, and many other hardships. But he focused not on the evil, but on Your glory that he was confident to see one day. Paul had hope in what You were doing in the midst of the pain and suffering. He trusted that the Holy Spirit was with him and interceding for him. He had confidence in eternal salvation. Lord give me that same focus to see Your hand in the chaos. Even when things look bleak, allow me to hope for Your promises of salvation that will be so glorious and eternal. Allow the Spirit to help me in my weakness and take the pain in my heart and turn them into prayers to You. Let Your Holy Spirit fill my weakness with Your strength. Shine Your light into my heart so that it illuminates my soul. Help me to not walk in fear, but in confidence according to Your will. Amen