The Apostle Paul has been doing some figuring: “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18).
These three words—bondage, liberty, and hope—will help you learn that our God is a good God.
“…Because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God…. For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees?” (Romans 8:21, 24; emphasis added)
Bondage in Sin
Bondage is yesterday’s curse. God made a perfect world, but Adam sinned, and dragged all of Creation down with him. Yesterday’s curse is upon everything:
The animal kingdom is cursed. “So the LORD God said to the serpent: ‘Because you have done this, you are cursed…’” (Genesis 3:14a).
The mineral kingdom is cursed. “Then to Adam He said, ‘…Cursed is the ground for your sake; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life’” (Genesis 3:17, fragmented).
The vegetable kingdom is cursed. “Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, and you shall eat the herb of the field” (Genesis 3:18).
The human kingdom is cursed. “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned” (Romans 5:12).
Liberty in Christ
Liberty is tomorrow’s conquest. When Jesus comes…
The animal kingdom will be changed. “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the young goat…” (Isaiah 11:6a).
The mineral kingdom will be changed. “The wilderness and the wasteland shall be glad for them, and the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose” (Isaiah 35:1).
The vegetable kingdom will be changed. “Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree…” (Isaiah 55:13a).
The human kingdom will be changed. Dr. Vance Havner used to say, “You won’t be towed into Heaven by a wrecking crew. You are going to have a body like His glorious body.” That is the reason the Psalmist said, “As for me, I will see Your face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied when I awake in Your likeness” (Psalm 17:15).
Hope of Glory
Hope is today’s comfort. Remember this: the groans we endure are temporary; the glory we expect is eternal.
“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren” (Romans 8:28-29). What has been decreed in Heaven cannot be annulled by Hell.
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
… Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? …For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:31, 35, 38-39).
Paul doesn’t deny sufferings; he faced them all. But you are predestined for glory, you are preserved for glory, and the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared to the glory which shall be revealed in us.