Romans 8:18-25 "It's Worth It"
What would it take? What would it take for you to get to the breaking point and say, “It’s not worth it”? I don’t think there is a single one of us that has not had to wrestle with this question in the past several months. For instance, do I stay at home and not work, or interact with my friends and family or schedule an appointment with the doctor to keep myself safe? Is it worth the financial, mental and physical pain? Is it worth standing up for the truth of God’s word against the LGBT popularity and certain politicians declaring we need to get rid of freedom of religion because it is being used as a coverup for racism knowing the vilification it could bring? Just where is your breaking point? What amount of suffering would it take for you to say, “It’s not worth it”?
You already heard Paul’s answer, “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” No suffering, not one, was enough for Paul to say this is not worth it in the long run. No suffering could outweigh the glory that was coming.
Before Paul said this, he reiterated the fact we are God’s children. If we are God’s children we are heirs of God and share in his glory. But right now we do not look like God’s children and heirs of God. If you saw a person living in cardboard box, eating from the garbage, dressed in rags and someone told you, “That is the son of a billionaire,” what would you say? You would say if he is, then he shouldn’t be living there and be eating caviar. Right now, God’s children don’t look any different. God’s children do not appear to have any advantages over anyone else. We suffer just as much as anyone else. Perhaps the case could be made we suffer even more. Unfortunately this has been enough for more than one or two of God’s Children to say, ” Being a child of God is not worth it. I am suffering more than most. I need to fall in line with the world. I need to become a child of the world before the suffering becomes too much.”
If the day would come where we find ourselves teetering on that ledge where we are asking ourselves is it worth it, we will do well to remember what Paul, who I can guarantee suffered far more than we have or will, said, “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”
The day is coming when it will be evident whose child we are. When Jesus changes us to be like him, that is his glorious body, then it will be clear whose children we are: we are the sons and daughters of God.
We are not the only ones groaning and longing for this day to come when it will be revealed we are children of God. All of creation is eagerly anticipating the day when we will be revealed for who we are. Why is all of creation eagerly anticipating this day? What does it matter to creation? It matters to creation because we are not the only ones suffering. All of creation is suffering right along with us. The moment Adam and Eve fell into sin all of creation has been under a curse. Creation now produces thorns and thistles. Everything in all creation wears out and dies. Everything in creation is subject to misuse and abuse because the people who are part of creation are sinful. You might say when the earth was created, it enjoyed being the host for the crown of God’s creation: the human race. Creation enjoyed bringing forth fruit for mankind. It does not now enjoy bring forth thorns and thistles. But when the day comes when it will be apparent whose children we are, that will be the day when creation will be set free the cruse. No more thistles. No more misuse. Creation will be what it is intended to be: bringing joy to the crown of God’s creation.
So here we are along with the rest of creation waiting, groaning with birth pains eagerly waiting the redemption of our bodies questioning is it worth the wait? Mothers here is where you can relate. I have been told that childbirth can be a bit painful. Would any of you say the pain you went through wasn’t worth it? Paul equates the suffering we are going through in the present time with birth pains. “22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.” Just as you mothers would say the pain and suffering you went through in child birth was worth it and doesn’t even compare with joy you had seeing that new life in your arms for the first time, the suffering we are going through can’t even begin to compare with the joy we will have when our bodies will be redeemed. Birth pains don’t result in destruction but life. Life is painful. Suffering is everywhere but something new and wonderful is coming. Just as pregnant women hang in there given birth despite all the pain, we too can hang in there in this present time despite all the suffering. The manifestation of who we are, the redemption of our bodies is coming.
Hold on. Hang on. It is worth it. The suffering we are going through now cannot even being to compare with the day of our redemption. The day of our redemption is going to be better than we thought possible. Meanwhile we groan inwardly but we groan as in pains of child birth because we know something wonderful is coming. We just can’t see it now which is why Paul says, “Hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.” You know it is worth it, because the word of the Lord has gone from his mouth all the way to you and accomplished the purpose for which he sent it giving you hope. Hope always looks forward to something better. You can be sure that something better is coming your way for you are a child, an heir of God. You have the redemption of your body to look forward to free from all pain and viruses, protests and death. I know we can’t see it now. If we could, then we wouldn’t have hope because hope that is seen is no hope at all. When that day of glory and redemption comes our way we will no longer have hope because we will have everything we could possibly want or need; even more. Heaven is a place where there is no hope. I know that sounds strange, but it is true. In heaven there is no hope. Why? Because there will never be anything we could possibly want in heaven. Right now all that we have is hope because all that we see around us is suffering and groaning. We want more we need more. What is keeping people going is hope that maybe someday things will get better. There will be a cure for the virus and we will find a way to get along with one another again. No one can say this is for certain however. But we have been giving this hope from our God that something better is coming our way even if there is no cure and the virus and protests do us in. Redemption of our bodies where our bodies will be like our Savior’s glorious body is coming. Our inheritance of heaven as God’s children is coming. Creation’s liberation from death and decay is coming. Therefore, wait patiently as you have this sure and certain hope that what Paul says here is absolutely 100% grade A true, “18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. Amen.