So then, brothers and sisters, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh— for if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry, “Abba! Father!” it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ—if, in fact, we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him. I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory about to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God; for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labor pains until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
Food for Thought:
The line that sticks out to me most in this passage is, “I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory about to be revealed to us.” Think about groups of people who have experienced intense suffering and have still been strong models of faith. The suffering comes in all different types of forms such as emotional, spiritual, scarcity of food or shelter. Sometimes these people seem more faithful than those of us who have so much and suffer little. Today, I encourage you to pray for someone who is suffering and reach out to alleviate one person’s suffering.
God, sometimes it feels like we are all alone in our suffering. But you promise us that we are never alone, that you are always with us. Be with all those who are suffering this day. Wrap your loving arms around them, and guide us as we seek to alleviate the suffering of others. In your holy and precious name we pray, Amen.