Friday, November 18, 2016

Romans 8:16-18 -- On Monsters and Hope

"The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us."
Romans 8:16-18

The idea of being children of God is huge, as as it explains here, if we are children of God then we are also heirs.  Can you imagine inheriting all that God has?  ... So totally way better than a rich uncle, right? :)  And of course in this case also better because no one has to die.  God is immortal, and we *still* get to share his stuff... because he loves us, and that is the whole point.  He's trying to teach us enough so we be part of the family business. :)

One of the best things about these verses it the part about suffering.  Christ suffered for us, and sometimes we suffer too, for each other.  And that's okay.  ... It doesn't feel okay, but it *is* okay, because of exactly what it says here... that our sufferings are completely unworthy of comparison to the glory that we will become, and the joy and happiness that awaits us.

So, how do we trust in that future happy ending that we can't see, when all of these big monsters are
attacking us NOW?  ... a few verses later, God tells us.  "For we are saved by hope" (verse 24).  I love that.  When things are just rotten, and everything is going wrong, and the monsters are winning, God is still there.  We can't see him, but the spirit still bears witness, and reminds us that it gets better.   If we can just hang in there and keep doing good, everything will be okay.  None of the bad stuff can ruin what God has waiting for us in the end.

Let's try to remember that as we face the monsters today.  Sometimes they aren't as bad as we thought... but even when they are, let's look to the light.  The good will not just outweigh, but completely and ludicrously overpower the bad in the end.  Which really makes you think... in the midst of our most painful suffering, what could be so good that it would make this seem silly in comparison?  ... Personally, I think that when we experience what Heaven is really like, it will be that good, and probably even better.  What seems devastating to us now will be completely washed away by God's love and mercy and goodness.  All the things that scare us now will seem like cartoons as everything is made perfect, and God wipes away all the tears from our eyes (Isaiah 25:8; Revelation 21:4).  Hope.

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