Monday’s After Thoughts: 21 May 2018

Good Monday to you all.
Yesterday I spent a fair amount of time on the Ezekiel passage and shared that the point of that passage for Israel was that they had a reason for hope. In the midst of their exile, the Children of Israel had a reason for hope. God had not abandoned them to their plight and He would restore them.
Some things of note:
·         The Children of Israel would not be restored back to their previous prominence.
·         Their hope was based on who God is and not who they were (as God’s chosen people).
I thought today I would share about the Romans reading and its relation to Ezekiel. The reading from Romans 8:22-27 says,
“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.
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.”
The Ezekiel reading from yesterday is about Israel.
It is written to Israel.
It is written for Israel.
It is written about Israel.
The Romans reading speaks to you and me.
Same idea as the Ezekiel passage, but relating to our place in life.
The common experience in life is disappointment, whether as a consequence of our own choices, the results of an intentional hurtful act by another (or others) or through living in a world that is messy (e.g., the messiness of cancer).
I have had my share of disappointments.
Disappointment in friends.
Disappointment in jobs.
Disappointment in my perception of the “fairness” of life.
Disappointment in a marriage.
Disappointment in myself.
My guess is that you have faced many disappointments in your life as well.
And that these disappointments are a result of the messy world that we live in together.
This passage from Romans reminds us that the creation “feels our pain” too.
It groans with us as we wait (along with the creation) for our adoption and redemption of our bodies (which is to say our new bodies and new life after Jesus returns).
I have said before that “we are already but not yet people.”
Our salvation in Christ is finished, not in our merits or what we bring to the table, but simply through the manifested love of the Father in the life and sacrifice of the Son, and God’s support for us in the gift of His Holy Spirit.
Even though our salvation is finished, our complete restoration is not.
Not in this life.
In the next, yes.
But not in this life.
Paul says that we were saved in hope.
It means that being God’s children in this life will be difficult.
It means there will be oodles and oodles of disappointment to go around for everyone.
It means the fullness of our redemption will not be realized until Christ returns.
Which is our hope.
It reminds us that even though the messiness of life can be difficult, the God of the Universe is not done yet.
He will restore all things to Himself.
Us included.
God will see to it that we are, one day, complete.
It is His promise to us.
It is our hope.
It is the thing which we should remember when life is not as you would have wished it to be.