Thursday, June 12, 2014
June 12 – No comparison
That's why I don't think there's any comparison between the present hard times and the coming good times. The created world itself can hardly wait for what's coming next. (Romans 8:18,19 MSG)
Human nature tells us that we can grit our teeth and hold on a little bit longer as long as we know something better is just over the horizon. People handle difficult customers and high-pressure bosses simply because they know they’re going on a vacation next week, or because they’ve been promised a raise. Looking forward to a reward or to good times is a powerful incentive to bulldozing our way through hard times.
But for those of us who have faith in God the present hardships are so small compared to the amazing blessings that we have been promised, here on earth and in heaven. There is simply no comparison. In another passage Paul labels all our present suffering as momentary and light, no matter how severe it may seem to us, and Jesus promises that we will receive back one hundred times whatever we give up for Him. So whenever we go through hard times it’s crucial for us to step back and get some perspective on the situation. Things are not as bad as they seem… and even if things are very bad, we believe in a God who walks on the water and raises the dead, and so we have to lift up our heads and determine that everything is going to turn out alright.
The last part of today’s verse says that creation can hardly wait for what’s coming next. Other versions say that it eagerly waits the revelation of the sons of God. In the original Greek the meaning is closer to creation “watching with outstretched neck.” At times the mountains, forests, and oceans are smarter than we are. All of God’s creation knows that great things are coming. It knows that the children of God will be revealed one day, that their earthly shroud will be lifted, and that glory and blessings beyond measure are awaiting them. Creation is so convinced of this that it’s waiting with outstretched neck.
Surely, as the pinnacle of God’s creation we could be smarter than we are many times. We should be eagerly expecting the blessings of God here on earth, and in heaven. If creation knows what’s coming, how can people baptized in the Holy Spirit not know this in an even clearer way?
Don’t give in to the way of the world. Grab a hold of what God has promised and eagerly expect great things, both here on earth and in heaven.