The Sufferings of This Present Time

Text: Romans 8:18-25

The world is full of sin, suffering, violence, and loss. There are many passages in the Bible that discuss how to deal with the hardships of life. In this lesson, we will focus on one passage from Paul’s letter to the Romans.

Suffering Will Always Be Present (v. 18)

  • Paul talked about “the sufferings of this present time” – it is almost 2,000 years later; suffering still exists; “nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9)
  • Suffering will exist until this world passes away (Revelation 21:1, 4)
  • The world cannot be fixed (Ecclesiastes 1:14-15) – there will always be suffering present

Cannot Compare with the Glory to be Revealed (v. 18)

  • Despite all the suffering that exists, there is something better that is coming
  • The glory that is to be revealed” – when Christ returns (Colossians 3:4; Philippians 3:20-21)
  • Present sufferings cannot compare with what awaits (2 Corinthians 4:17-5:4) – so “do not lose heart” (2 Corinthians 4:16)

The Anxious Longing of the Creation (v. 19)

  • The creation” – not referring to the world around us, but humans in general
  • There is an innate desire in man for something better (Ecclesiastes 3;11; Acts 17:26-27) – even though man may not understand what would be better
  • This comes at “the revealing of the sons of God” – at the return of Christ (Colossians 3:4)

The Creation Was Subjected to Futility (v. 20)

  • When God made everything, it was “very good” (Genesis 1:31) – but sin changed this because it brought death (Genesis 2:17; 1 Corinthians 15:21-22)
  • Life on earth went from being “very good” (Genesis 1:31) to “vanity” (Ecclesiastes 1:2)
  • This was God’s doing – did it in hope, so that we would long for what awaits (2 Corinthians 5:1-2)

We Eagerly Wait for Our Adoption and Redemption (v. 23)

  • Just as “the whole creation groans” (v. 22), we (Christians) also “groan within ourselves” (v. 23) – like anyone else, we are longing for something better; the difference between Christians and the world is that we know what awaits
  • Adoption – we are children of God (1 John 3:1); we are waiting for our permanent home in heaven (John 14:2-3)
  • Redemption – we have been redeemed (1 Peter 1:18-19); we are waiting for our new spiritual bodies (1 John 3:2; 1 Corinthians 15:50-53)

We Are Saved By Hope (v. 24)

  • Salvation is attributed to many things – this passage mentions hope as playing a part in our salvation
  • How does hope save us? … it is tied to our faith (Hebrews 11:1); hope is reaching forward to something you cannot yet see
  • Hope is the expectation that there is something better in the future (1 Peter 1:3, 13) – more than a wish; it motivates us to keep going (Philippians 3:14)

With Perseverance We Eagerly Wait (v. 25)

  • We need endurance in order to obtain what we hope for (Hebrews 3:6; 6:11; 10:23)
  • We need to be encouraged to persevere (Hebrews 6:18; 3:12-13)
  • If we do not persevere, we will miss out on what we hoped to gain (1 Corinthians 9:27)

Conclusion

  • This world is full of suffering – should make us long for heaven
  • No matter how bad life gets, it cannot compare with what we will receive in the end

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