"Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later. For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are. Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay. For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us. We were given this hope when we were saved. If we already have something, we don’t need to hope for it. But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently." - Romans 8:18-25

Romans 8:18-25 presses beyond the boundaries of human freedom to the freedom given to all of creation! The passage expands and explains this freedom in the context of suffering: "The sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory about to be revealed to us" (vs. 18).

Paul then leaps into the more cosmic scale of God's redemption. The creation waits for God's glory to be revealed in God's children. We hear echoes of God's original intent for creation as described in Genesis. God's human children were intended to be stewards of Creation, but their disobedience caused the creation itself to be cursed (Genesis 3:17-18). Creation suffers along with and because of humans, and God's intent is to sustain and redeem humans and all creation.

Isaiah promises a new heaven and a new earth (65:17-25; 66:22). When God's redeeming work, begun in Jesus Christ, finds completion in the age to come, humans and all of creation will be set free!

What thoughts or feeling occur to you as you read Paul's understanding that all creation will be set free?

In what ways can you participate now in God's ongoing redemption of all creation?

Redeem me, Lord God, that then I might work in helping You to redeem the rest of Your creation. Amen.
Jan 26 2019