We are reminded on a regular basis of just how unstable and temporary this universe is. Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the tsunami off the coast of Japan in 2011, Hurricane Sandy, and most recently the comet soaring across the stratosphere over Russia all testify to this. Sin has negatively affected our universe, and made it “futile” (Romans 8:20).
The Present World (vv. 18-21)
“In the world you will have tribulation,” Jesus said. As Christians, you and I have to focus on what God has in store for us. Why? Because the present world and its sufferings aren’t to be compared with the great things God has in store for us (Romans 8:18). Commitment reflects priority. We only commit to what — or who — we prioritize in our life. We must not allow this world to steal away our commitment to God.
The New Creation (vv. 22-25)
Paul encourages us to remember that our salvation is a salvation characterized by hope. A hopeless Christian is an oxymoron, a contradiction in terms. Hopelessness arises when our focus is on a life that simply can’t and won’t provide. God, however, can and will provide. So, in Paul’s words, be patient, a Greek word that means “positive endurance,” in spite of difficulties.
Whatever storm we may face, whether literal or metaphorical, “God is our refuge and strength; a very present help in times of trouble” (Psalm 46:1).