Romans 8:18 (Revised Standard Translation = NKJ) "I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us."
Sometimes its hard to see the glory of God through all the struggles we are having; after all we live in the moment and do not know the future. We all go through times when depression or a situation seems to be controlling everything we do. Yet though all these struggles we must still remember to look ahead at the glory God will reveal to us when we come into his kingdom. I have said to myself, "If I always look at where I am now I will never move forward, and yet if all I look at is my future here on Earth I will never find God." My friend Tim once said not to focus too much on the future here on Earth; commenting that thinking eternally is something he tries to do... after all our goal is to live eternally with God. God is bigger than our troubles... there is no need to fear for he is always with us. Those who trust in Him are rewarded with true peace. "Be strong and let your heart take courage all you who hope in the Lord." Psalms 31:24
Romans 8:19 (Living Translation)
"For all creation is waiting patiently and hopefully for that future day when God will resurrect his Children."
God has made all the things in creation to help us in our wait for the day when God will resurrect his Children. In fact it says that, "all creation is waiting patiently and hopefully for that future day..." This leads us to believe that all creation is waiting to celebrate the freedom of the Sons and Daughters of God from this world. This is all part of what Paul is talking about in verse 18... It is the glory of God that all creation is waiting for!
Romans 8:20 and 21 (Revised Standard Translation = NKJ)
"For the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of him who subjected it in hope; 21 because the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the glorious liberty of the Children of God."
Creation itself has no power for God created it, thus it is subject to Him. In fact all of creation seeks to be free from the current bondage which has been placed on it by the enemy of God. This bondage is sin, which all things of this world are bound by. Like man and women creation will be free from this bondage after Jesus comes in his glory!
"We know that the whole creation has been groaning in travail together until now; 23 and not only the creation, but we ourselves who have the first fruits of the spirit, groan inwardly as we wait for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. Now hope this is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he has sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience."
In this passage Paul speaks of the never ending groaning of creation as it waits for the glory, but as he says creation is not alone. Have you ever had times when you feel that you just want to die and pass on to be with God in heaven, then you know of the groaning which Paul speaks of. We do this as we wait for Christ to return to us and free us of this world and its ways. The truth that needs to be told to the world is that of the hope which has saved us; its the very truth that God redeems us through the blood of His son, when he adopts us as Sons and Daughters. The reason God doesn't let us see haven before our death to the world is clear through this passage, "For who hopes for what he has sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience." Later in 1st Corinthians 1:18, Paul tells us, "I know very well how foolish the message of the cross sounds to those who are on the road to destruction. But we who are being saved recognize this message as the very power of God." So let us not forget that the truth of the message of the cross that saves us, and nothing else. So we must wait patiently as Gods ways are higher than our own.
"Likes wise the spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know to pray as we ought (should), but the spirit himself intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words."
The spirit knows our weakness and because of this he helps us through our struggles. This reminds us how important a relationship with the Holy Spirit is, without it our words would be gibberish to God. Sometimes in pride we think that our prayer sounds really cool, and that God will like it a lot, but its not the words we have that matter, it is our hearts. If we do not believe what we said we have no faith, and without faith we are just as the Pharisees in Jesus time. But this is explained better in the next verse:
"And He (The Lord Jesus) who searches the hearts of men knows what is the mind of the spirit, because the spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God."
Jesus knows our hearts, so even in the weakness of our flesh, God knows what we truly want to do. Thanks to the Holy Spirit because it intercides for the saints because of God's love. The Lord knows our hearts because he knows the Holy spirit; which speaks on our behalf, and it does so according to the will of our Father.
"We know that in everything God works for good with those who love him, who are called according to his purpose."
God does good works in those you love and obey his commands. If we are called by God to do something and do it according to His will then we will be fruitful.
"For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his son, in order that he might be the first-born among many brethren."
In the last verse it talks about God working good things through those he loves, and these are related. He predestined those of us who are conformed in the image or ways of his Son to do good works according to His will. This can be said because his Son did his will in all that he did. Its hard to us to fully understand how God works but then we don't have His ability to see all of time, from creation till its end. This is reflected in Jeremiah 29 where God says he knows the plains he has for us.
"And those whom he predestined he also called; and those whom he called he also justified; and those whom he justified he also glorified."
God calls those who he predestined to do his will, all we have to do is open our heart and let the spirit guide us in the direction he wants us to go. He has also justified those who he called, that is done through the redeeming Blood of Christ Jesus. God also gives strength to those he has called because it is through the justification of Christ that we are able to do his will. God glorifies those who serve Him, and because He is truthful to us we give all that glory to His name!
"What then shall we say to this? If God is for us, who is against us?"
Those who love and stand for God have nothing to fear for nothing, even death, have any power over us. Satan and his fallen angles, along with the world are our enemy, but we are not to fear them because Jesus through the cross has overcome the world and sin.
"He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, will be not also give us all things with Him?"
God gave up is only Son Jesus for us, so why would he not then give us strength to do his will? God spared us because of the Blood of Jesus who died for us because He loved us more than anything else He created in the world.
"Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies;"
Although we all often judge others, we have to admit this. We come up with reasons why we look at that person differently, like their beliefs or lack there of for example. But we must remember that people have no place to judge others, for only God is to judge his Children. Those who charge Gods elect or people have no real power over us; for God alone holds the key to eternal life not man.
"...who is to condemn? It is Christ Jesus, who died. Yes, who was raised from the dead, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us?"
It is Jesus place to judge from the right hand of God, not us. He has this right because he is the risen Son of God, and he can do this for he knows mens hearts. (Romans 8:27) He judges the sons and daughters of God because the he knows the spirit which intercedes for us.
"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?"
This passage asks us what can separate us from the love of Christ, the answer is nothing. The reason for that is; He is not of this world, and due to this He is not bound by its ways. Whether we are beaten or starving or distressed, Christ will always be there with us. Always showing grace and peace.
"For it is written, "For thy sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered."
For the sake of Christ we must be willing to die. Because we are part of him we must die to ourselves and to the world as well. Because we cannot be separated from the Love it Christ, nothing the people of the world or Satan does can change our hope in Him who saved us. For it does not matter what happens to our physical bodies, as they are of this world and are part of the bondage of creation.
"No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us."
Because of Christ's love for us none of the things listed in Romans 8:35 can separate us from God. Christ conquered death, and sin on the cross; because He is in us we are also conquerors of those things. In fact through Christ all things can be won because He has overcome the world!
Romans 8:38 and 39
"For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Paul says that he is sure that none of the things listed can separate us from the love of God. He is able to say this because of the insight given to him through the Holy Spirit. I find this is very encouraging as I walk through the struggles of my time here. If Christ had not defeated sin then we would have no hope, no salvation, but thanks to the glorious love of God who saved us through His only Son Jesus! This just further reinforces the truth that nothing God created can ever separate us from His love! Because Jesus conquered death, we have eternal life with God. If we hope in the salvation of Christ and let Jesus into our hearts then nothing can stand between us and God. This can be said because Christ conquered sin; thus removing the only thing that could separate us from the Father.
Remember as you study don't just fill your own spiritual gas tank; let yours overflow so that you may show grace to others. By doing so we show the love and forgiveness of our loving Father in Heaven! If you find this encouraging, feel free to pass on the address of this site to your friends so they can be open to the same. Thank you all for taking the time to read this I pray that it helps you in your walk with Christ, whether it be new or old.
Your Brother in Christ