Romans 8:18 (Common English Bible)
I believe that the present suffering is nothing compared to the coming glory that is going to be revealed to us.
Much of the time when we hear about “the victorious Christian life” it’s not in the context of suffering. It’s about being empowered and then, somehow, we magically don’t suffer anymore. Paul says the power of the Spirit is real. It changes our perspective. It brings incredible victory into our lives. But that victory may not be OUT of suffering. It may, rather, be victory in our suffering.
And it’s not only the creation. We ourselves who have the Spirit as the first crop of the harvest also groan inside as we wait to be adopted and for our bodies to be set free.
We can be free from the grip of this world… and groaning. There are still the battles and struggles. And in it, Paul shows us we are empowered. The Spirit simply changes the paradigm.
The power of the Spirit brings us to intimacy with God, and that can be in the midst of suffering. We can groan and cry out and we can make our prayer a simple child’s cry: “Abba.”
The suffering doesn’t go away, but the paradigm shifts. We can live in the power of the Spirit and groan from suffering at the same time. We may not physically be set free, but our spirits can soar. And we realize nothing separates us from his love.