I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.
~ Romans 8:18-25 ~
In this passage we see that humanity and also the entire natural order has been suffering since it was subject to frustration and in bondage to decay and groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. The word 'frustration ' (and the underlying Greek word) denotes an inability to achieve its intended purpose. 'Bondage to decay' tells us that we live in a disintegrating world. Furthermore, the analogy of birth pains implies both pain and hope. Finally the verb 'subjected' translates a Greek aorist passive, implying that this subjection took place in a moment of time. The context informs us that the effects, however, will last till the day of liberation. The 'moment' is the fall of Adam recorded in Genesis 3 and God's consequent judgment on humanity and the created order. The liberation will be at the return of Christ with the resurrection and the establishment, after the final judgment, of the New Heavens and the New Earth. As Revelation 22:3 states - No longer will there be any curse.
Written by Pastor Frank Humphrey.