For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. – Romans 8:19-25
The Dawn of Redemption
By Dave Dussault
Northpoint’s Prayer Ministry
Hello Church Family,
Creating is fun. Developing an idea and bringing it to life brings a one-of-a-kind joy, almost like giving birth. Struggle pays off. Difficulty brings a reward. Turn on a light bulb or computer, take a ride in your car or watch TV, and you partake of the benefits of the creativity that made life what it is today.
But starting over is a drag—all drudgery without inspiration. All demand and no motivation. Starting is exciting, but starting over brings a sigh. All life on earth as we know it is God’s “redo,” but God never becomes weary or tired. He’s fully committed to making all things new.
And humanity is what’s broken. We are the thing that’s gone wrong in God’s creation, and He’s determined to make us right. After all, we’re the race He created in his own image to rule the earth. What God accomplishes in mankind He is accomplishing for the whole world. He’s making us new in order to make all things new.
The God who spoke light into a dark world, gave shape to a formless world, and filled an empty world is doing much the same thing in those who trust Christ. Redemption through God’s Son ushers in a new creation free from sin and corruption. Here’s what this process looks like.
Deep inside we know that things aren’t as they should be. Conflicts in nature reveal this truth. Conflicts in society make the human disorder painfully real. There’s no denying the problem, but we refuse to admit that the problem is our sin, nor do we look to God to solve it. So a deep longing remains in each individual. All creation is groaning with the desire to be put right.
From God’s perspective, his creation is in labor pains, giving birth to a new creation. God is remaking the fallen world. In Christ, the pains Christians suffer are not pointless. They anticipate a new world created in Christ Jesus, because each Christian bears the seed of God’s new and eternal creation—the Holy Spirit, who resides in everyone who trusts Christ.
In essence, the Spirit within us is that new life, growing and developing. Eternal life is being born from this fallen and doomed world in the heart of the believer.
From start to finish, birth is an uncomfortable process. Something inside needs to come out. The new world that God’s creating in us is foreign to this world. Divine righteousness is alien to the fallen world we live in. There’s no way to imagine what a child will be like before birth, and no one can conceive what God has in store for his new creation. But we know that it’s good, and we long for it to come. Our hope is certain. It just isn’t here yet. So we groan with patient but hopeful anticipation.
But God’s Spirit helps us in this process. Since He’s God, He understands God’s purposes. Since He lives in us, He knows our limited understanding and appreciates the pain that goes with new creation. In our pain, we call out for help, often not knowing exactly what we want.
The Holy Spirit helps our inarticulate groanings, by praying them for us, in a way that make sense to God and aligns our longings with the his good and acceptable and perfect will (Romans 12:2). As life goes on and labor pains increase, we grow into the mind of God and come to appreciate—even desire—his will. We learn to want what God wants.
Prayer is so much more than getting what we want from God. Prayer teaches us to want what God has for us and cultivate a taste for eternal riches. And it gives us strength to endure the things God uses to accomplish his work in us, knowing that the plans of a good God are good. We don’t know what our future will look like, but we know we’ll look like Christ, because the Father is perfecting his image in us.
Prayer is how we participate in God’s new creation. As we pray for ourselves, God’s answers prepare us for the day when He adopts us as mature children, ready to receive our inheritance. God’s answers to our prayers usher in the new creation the world’s been longing for since it was wrecked by sin. That’s how God works all things together for our good and to the praise of his glory.
By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; By knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches. – Proverbs 24:3-4
Northpoint Prayer Ministry
– Each week, Dave updates a monthly Bible reading plan and writes a Bible and prayer focus, Prayer Life. The preceding is a recent installment. You can pick up both offerings at the Information Center in the Foyer on Sundays, or sign up there to receive them via email. You can also click here to find the archive: https://northpointcorona.org/ministries/prayer/