Saved In Hope
An Advent Devotional on Romans 8:18-25
One of my professors in Bible College disliked the hymn “This Is My Father’s World”. He said: “If this is my Father’s world, then He did not do a good job”. The hymn writer thought about God’s creation. My professor thought about God’s new creation. And yes, in that sense this is most definitely not God’s world.
The Bible is blunt about the current state of creation. When Adam fell, creation fell. It was subjected to futility by God (v.20). He cursed it. Creation squeaks and cracks like a house that is about to collapse. Or in the words of Paul, it groans as in childbirth (v.22).
But the decay is not only around us, it is also in us. We, who have received a foretaste of the Spirit, groan as well (v.23). Over broken bones, relationships gone sour, and bills we cannot possibly pay. We hurt and we weep. Every sigh and tear remind us that this is not our Father’s world.
But we have been “saved in hope” (v.24). Our full and final redemption is on the way (v.23). New bodies. The end of sin and death. Unspeakable joy. This is what the entirety of creation longs for. It stands on tiptoe, waiting for God to reveal the true nature of His children when Christ returns. This is the telltale sign that the curse which now rests on creation will be broken (v.19).
God’s children await a mind-blowing future. It will be so phenomenal that the sum total of our affliction in this life cannot outweigh the glory that will be ours (2 Cor. 4:17). We will be in our Father’s world.
John Newton (1725-1807) wrote, “Suppose a man was going to New York to take possession of a large estate, and his carriage should break down a mile before he got to the city, which obliged him to walk the rest of the way. What a fool we should think him, if we saw him ringing his hands, and blubbering out all the remaining mile: My carriage is broken! My carriage is broken!”
Your carriage may be broken, but you are closer to home than you think, where your inheritance awaits.