The Christian Way to Glory, Part Four
“And even we Christians, although we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, also groan to be released from pain and suffering. We, too, wait anxiously for that day when God will give us our full rights as his children, including the new bodies he has promised us.” Romans 8:23 NLT
Those who are in Christ are bound for glory. Along the way we will suffer, but the Apostle Paul assures us that our suffering will not compare to the weight of glory that is ours in Christ. Paul points us to the glorious new world in which God’s people will live. And then he points us to the fact that we, too, will be made into new creations!
The earth isn’t the only thing that’s in bondage to decay. The same thing is true for us as human beings. In case you hadn’t noticed, these bodies of ours don’t work nearly as well as we’d like them to. I’m reminded of that every time I look in the mirror, and every morning when I get out of bed, just a little stiffer than the day before.
And it’s not just our bodies that disappoint us, but our souls as well. The Apostle Paul wrote words that resonate so deeply with our disappointment in ourselves, “I don’t understand myself at all, for I really want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do the very thing I hate. I know perfectly well that what I am doing is wrong, and my bad conscience shows that I agree that the law is good. But I can’t help myself, because it is sin inside me that makes me do these evil things.” ([esvignore]Romans 7:15-17[/esvignore]) Can you relate to those words? I sure can!
The good we want to do, we don’t do. The wrong things we don’t want to do, we do anyway. We groan inwardly every time we do that. Even though we’ve been justified, freed from the penalty of sin, even though we’re being sanctified, freed from the power of sin, we still sin. We still mess up. We still fall short of the glory for which we were created.
But it will not always be so. Someday, Paul tells us, we will be changed, freed completely from sin. We will live up to our potential as human beings. Physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually we will be whole, complete, mature, fully ourselves, and fully alive. And so we press on in this life, even when it’s painful, even when it’s difficult, knowing that someday we will be the glorious people God created us to be.
Bringing It Home
1. In what areas of your own faith walk are you amazed at your inability to do what you know is right?
2. Let 1 Corinthians 15:51-58 stir hope in you today.
Lord, I confess that I don’t live up to my own standards, let alone yours. I find myself consistently frustrated with my inability to do the right thing. I long to be freed from this body of sin and death. Sustain me with the hope of the resurrection, and the hope of your transforming power at work in me even today. Amen.
*This four-part series of Faith@Work devotions was largely inspired by Pastor Bryan Wilkerson’s sermon “The Great Reveal.”
Prince of Peace, Burnsville, MN