Rom 8:22-25 “For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.”
In verse twenty-one, Paul speaks of the creature (original formation – see Strong’s) being delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. It is obvious (we know) that the whole creation groans and labors in pain together. We see the effects of sin every day in ourselves and the world around us. It is apparent in the hatred in men’s hearts, the holier than thou attitude all around us, the rampant greed that motivates so much evil, and in death (which is sin’s wages).
By the grace of God, there comes a time in the lives of His children that causes us to groan within ourselves for a deeper reason. While we remain under the bondage of corruption (experientially), we groan and desire to be delivered because we think we deserve a better station in life (more money, a nicer house, freedom from disease, etc.). Once the Spirit has begun its work in us, we groan because we are convicted in our hearts of the truth that we do not deserve any good thing, especially the mercy of God. However, with the working of the Spirit also comes a blessed hope for our adoption; that is to say the redemption of our body.
The word translated as “firstfruits” literally means a beginning of sacrifice. Our hope in Jesus begins in us a life of presenting our bodies a living sacrifice (which we are told is our reasonable service). Through the Spirit, we are able to crucify the old man (our carnal nature) every day and follow after Jesus. Our groan goes from being a murmuring about our situation to praying within ourselves for the Spirit to lead us.
There is a great deliverance (saving) in the hope (confidence) that wells up within us when we are born of the Spirit. That blessed hope saves us from despair and fear while we labor here to walk in obedience to our Lord and Savior. The foundation of our hope is not in us, but rather in the shed blood of Jesus Christ. We have great hope (confidence) for those things we have not yet seen.
From an eternal standpoint, we have hope of our home in Heaven. We also have hope for this very day. We have confidence that the Lord will be with us in our daily journey. We are confident that we will not face life’s trials alone. Our hope, while anchored beyond this world, gives us joy on our journey through this world.
Finally, hope is a wonderful ingredient in learning to live a patient life. One of the definitions of the word often translated as “patience” is “to have a cheerful expectation. Our hope (confidence) in God through our Lord Jesus is made lively by the work of the Holy Spirit. As a result, we are able to live a life of joyous expectation to be found in His holy presence every day.
May God give us the grace to never be ashamed of our hope!