I’m not a big outdoors person, but I love nature. I love how easy it is to commune with God when surrounded by the beauty of His creation. And yet, so often my heart is crushed when I see the effects of sin on creation.
Recently I worked through Romans 8. Verses 18-25 especially struck me, as they have many times before:
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body. For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.
As with many times before, I could almost picture a beautiful slice of creation marred by the effects of sin in the world. Sometimes things like the most recent oil disaster that has affected the Gulf of Mexico. But, other times it could be something as simple as huge amounts of pavement in an area that should be covered with grass or trees. Something that I use regularly and am thankful for – roads that easily move me from place to place, and yet create a scar on nature itself. Living in a world that is slowly dying because of the nature of sin within means that some of the very things I rely upon for existence are part of what contributes to the scarring of creation.
And so creation groans. And waits. And looks forward to the healing that will come when God brings forth His eternal kingdom and banishes the destruction of sin.
Last Friday’s post was about the hope that God has already given us in Himself and how I want to live in that hope. But, sometimes I wonder what it truly is that hope in. Creation itself sometimes seems to be more purely than I do.
I should be hoping in the eternal. In the anticipation of the completion of my adoption as a child of God. In the unseen perfection and holiness of God. In full and complete freedom from all of the bonds of sin.
Instead I hope in lesser things. I hope that this circumstance or that will come out right. I hope for daily provision. I hope for opportunities to do the things for which I am passionate. I hope for health and protection for my family. I hope for fulfillment of dreams.
The truth is, those things are not worthy of my hope. God has said His plans for me are for my prosper, not my harm. Those are certainties. And so the things I desire are as good as here. They might not always come as I would like for them to come. There might be times when provision is much skimpier than I would like. There might be times when we suffer from poor health or when we feel as if we lack protection from the storms of this world. There might be times when our dreams don’t see the fulfillment we desired. But, that doesn’t mean that God’s plans have been bad. It just means that my foresight is a little dim. And that those things were not worthy of my hope.
It’s time for me to reevaluate the object of my hope. It is time for me to be sure that I am hoping in the eternal. In my future as an eternally adopted child of God. In the coming glory of Christ my Lord. I think it just might be quite amazing how I view experiences of this life if my hope is in the right place.
Oh, may I learn to have properly placed hope!