Bible Society of South Africa

A New Beginning – Day 5

Peace with God in Hardship.

Bible text(s)

The Future Glory

18I consider that what we suffer at this present time cannot be compared at all with the glory that is going to be revealed to us. 19All of creation waits with eager longing for God to reveal his children. 20For creation was condemned to lose its purpose, not of its own will, but because God willed it to be so. Yet there was the hope 21that creation itself would one day be set free from its slavery to decay and would share the glorious freedom of the children of God.

Romans 8:18-21GNBOpen in Bible reader

23But it is not just creation alone which groans; we who have the Spirit as the first of God's gifts also groan within ourselves, as we wait for God to make us his children and set our whole being free. 24For it was by hope that we were saved; but if we see what we hope for, then it is not really hope. For which of us hopes for something we see? 25But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

26In the same way the Spirit also comes to help us, weak as we are. For we do not know how we ought to pray; the Spirit himself pleads with God for us in groans that words cannot express.

Romans 8:23-26GNBOpen in Bible reader

28We know that in all things God works for good with those who love him, those whom he has called according to his purpose. 29Those whom God had already chosen he also set apart to become like his Son, so that the Son would be the eldest brother in a large family. 30And so those whom God set apart, he called; and those he called, he put right with himself, and he shared his glory with them.

God's Love in Christ Jesus

31In view of all this, what can we say? If God is for us, who can be against us?

Romans 8:28-31GNBOpen in Bible reader

33Who will accuse God's chosen people? God himself declares them not guilty! 34Who, then, will condemn them? Not Christ Jesus, who died, or rather, who was raised to life and is at the right-hand side of God, pleading with him for us! 35Who, then, can separate us from the love of Christ? Can trouble do it, or hardship or persecution or hunger or poverty or danger or death?

Romans 8:33-35GNBOpen in Bible reader

38For I am certain that nothing can separate us from his love: neither death nor life, neither angels nor other heavenly rulers or powers, neither the present nor the future, 39neither the world above nor the world below — there is nothing in all creation that will ever be able to separate us from the love of God which is ours through Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:38-39GNBOpen in Bible reader

In the last few daily devotions we looked at unavoidable suffering, hardship and persecution that happens to believers. It is not merely hardship for the sake of hardship, but holds the promise of spiritual growth and reward.

In Romans 8:19-21 Paul shows us the glory that both people and the whole of creation can look forward to once this earthly suffering is finally past. The creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. You see, in our revelation, the creation itself will be freed from corruption and will also taste the freedom and the glory that the children of God will experience.

Paul focuses then on we who have received the Spirit: We also groan as we wait for the day of our liberation and redemption, but we remain hopeful (Romans 8:23-25).

On days when we struggle to remain hopeful, God does not leave us on our own: “… the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.” (Romans 8:26).

Despite the bad things that happen to us, we have the assurance that; “… God works for the good of those who love him…” (Romans 8:28). How can it be otherwise? Those whom God has already chosen, he predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son (Romans 8:29). Furthermore, we are already justified and glorified (Romans 8:30).

Through a few searching questions and answers, Paul shows God’s unchanging and loving relationship with us: “What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died – more than that, who was raised to life – is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.” (Romans 8: 31,33-34)

And then Paul touches the heart of God’s nature when he asks: “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8: 35,38-39)

In short in the face of trials and hardships, God’s love for you is steadfast! He is ready to reach out and help you!

Bible Society of South Africav.4.14.1
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