How We Can Have A New Perspective On The State Of The World

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How We Can Have A New Perspective On The State Of The World

December 9, 2021

Are we nearing the end of the world?

It’s a fair question ~ and one I’ve frequently heard, or seen on social media, over the last year and a half. And no wonder. Conspiracy theorists and some religious leaders have linked the COVID pandemic, political unrest, natural disasters, and economic upheaval to various Biblical prophecies in the Book of Revelation. I admit, I’ve asked the question myself.

But lately, a Bible passage has me thinking in a new direction. What if all these happenings aren’t signifying an end, but a beginning?

In Romans 8:18, Paul begins with these words, “‘I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us’” (NIV). Most Bible scholars believe the phrase “our present sufferings” refers to the troubles we all experience from living in a fallen world. While these hardships can look different for each of us, the glory we will receive from Jesus far outweighs them all. 

Paul continues:

For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. (Romans 8:19-21 NIV)

Paul describes God’s creation as both frustrated and enslaved to decay. When sin entered the world, all of creation suffered. In the same way, all of creation waits in eager expectation for the day when the children of God will be revealed. Until then, creation will continue to suffer pain. 

Paul uses an analogy to describe this pain, “We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time” (Romans 8:22 NIV emphasis added). When we liken all of the painful events in this fallen world as part of a birthing process, we begin to understand something new will be created. These pains will usher in a new beginning, not just for creation, but for us as well:

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. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. (Romans 8:23-25 NIV)

Although as followers of Jesus we have already received our salvation, Paul tells us we have only experienced the beginning, or the first fruits, of what we will receive. Earlier in this chapter Paul affirms our adoption as children of God (Romans 8:15). The final stage of our adoption will happen when our bodies are redeemed (1 Corinthians 15:42-44; 53). Until then we, like creation, hope and wait in eager expectation for the day Christ will make all things new (Revelations 21:1-4).

One thing I know: Waiting is hard. Especially when we want to be delivered from the pain inflicted by this fallen world. Whenever I feel impatient in the wait, I remember these words from the Apostle Peter, “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9 NIV). I would hate for anyone to miss out on the gift of salvation. Understanding God’s heart makes the delay worthwhile.

As we studied last weekBiblical hope is certain. One day we, and all of creation, will be liberated from this fallen world. We know this will happen, we just don’t know when. Because our hope is certain, we can wait patiently.

As we enter the Christmas season, the world continues to suffer. Some may look at current events as signs of the end of the world. I choose to see them as the beginnings of a promise fulfilled. 

Wherever our travels take us during this holiday season, I pray we will choose to celebrate the gift of Jesus as we wait patiently for the fulfillment of His promise.

 

How We Can Have A New Perspective On The State Of The World

December 9, 2021

December 21 Facebook Blog Template (1)

Are we nearing the end of the world?

It’s a fair question ~ and one I’ve frequently heard, or seen on social media, over the last year and a half. And no wonder. Conspiracy theorists and some religious leaders have linked the COVID pandemic, political unrest, natural disasters, and economic upheaval to various Biblical prophecies in the Book of Revelation. I admit, I’ve asked the question myself.

But lately, a Bible passage has me thinking in a new direction. What if all these happenings aren’t signifying an end, but a beginning?

In Romans 8:18, Paul begins with these words, “‘I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us’” (NIV). Most Bible scholars believe the phrase “our present sufferings” refers to the troubles we all experience from living in a fallen world. While these hardships can look different for each of us, the glory we will receive from Jesus far outweighs them all. 

Paul continues:

For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. (Romans 8:19-21 NIV)

Paul describes God’s creation as both frustrated and enslaved to decay. When sin entered the world, all of creation suffered. In the same way, all of creation waits in eager expectation for the day when the children of God will be revealed. Until then, creation will continue to suffer pain. 

Paul uses an analogy to describe this pain, “We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time” (Romans 8:22 NIV emphasis added). When we liken all of the painful events in this fallen world as part of a birthing process, we begin to understand something new will be created. These pains will usher in a new beginning, not just for creation, but for us as well:

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. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. (Romans 8:23-25 NIV)

Although as followers of Jesus we have already received our salvation, Paul tells us we have only experienced the beginning, or the first fruits, of what we will receive. Earlier in this chapter Paul affirms our adoption as children of God (Romans 8:15). The final stage of our adoption will happen when our bodies are redeemed (1 Corinthians 15:42-44; 53). Until then we, like creation, hope and wait in eager expectation for the day Christ will make all things new (Revelations 21:1-4).

One thing I know: Waiting is hard. Especially when we want to be delivered from the pain inflicted by this fallen world. Whenever I feel impatient in the wait, I remember these words from the Apostle Peter, “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9 NIV). I would hate for anyone to miss out on the gift of salvation. Understanding God’s heart makes the delay worthwhile.

As we studied last weekBiblical hope is certain. One day we, and all of creation, will be liberated from this fallen world. We know this will happen, we just don’t know when. Because our hope is certain, we can wait patiently.

As we enter the Christmas season, the world continues to suffer. Some may look at current events as signs of the end of the world. I choose to see them as the beginnings of a promise fulfilled. 

Wherever our travels take us during this holiday season, I pray we will choose to celebrate the gift of Jesus as we wait patiently for the fulfillment of His promise.

 

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4 Comments

  1. Teresa on December 10, 2021 at 7:16 AM

    Shirley, I love the more positive prospective of all that is going on in our world today.

    • Shirley Desmond Jackson on December 10, 2021 at 7:46 AM

      Thank you, Teresa. I love how that passage of Scripture helps me see the condition of today’s world in a different light. 💕

  2. Sheila on December 13, 2021 at 6:41 AM

    Thank you for sharing such wisdom, Shirley❤️ Each time I hear people say “Lord, come quickly”, I can’t help but think of friends/loved ones who are yet to experience the Lord’s salvation.

    • Shirley Desmond Jackson on December 13, 2021 at 10:43 AM

      Thank you Sheila. I have so many loved ones who still need time to make their decision for Jesus. I’m grateful He is so patient. 💕

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