I don’t think there’s any comparison between the present hard times and the coming good times. The created world itself can hardly wait for what’s coming next. Everything in creation is being more or less held back. God reins it in until both creation and all the creatures are ready and can be released at the same moment into the glorious times ahead. Meanwhile, the joyful anticipation deepens.
All around me I observe a pregnant creation. The difficult times of pain throughout the world are simply birth pangs. But it’s not only around me; it’s within me. The Spirit of God is arousing me within. Im also feeling the birth pangs. This body of mine is yearning for full deliverance. That is why waiting does not diminish me, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother. I am enlarged in the waiting. I, of course, don’t see what is enlarging me. But the longer I wait, the larger I become, and the more joyful my expectancy.
Meanwhile, the moment I get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping me along. If I don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does my praying in and for me, making prayer out of my wordless sighs, my aching groans. He knows me far better than I know myself, knows my pregnant condition, and keeps me present before God. That’s why I can be so sure that every detail in my life of love for God is worked into something good.
God knew what he was doing from the very beginning. He decided from the outset to shape the lives of those who love him along the same lines as the life of his Son. The Son stands first in the line of humanity he restored. I see the original and intended shape of my life there in him. After God made that decision of what his children should be like, he followed it up by calling me by name. After he called me by name, he set me on a solid basis with himself. And then, after getting me established, he stays with me to the end, gloriously completing what he had begun.
So, what do you think? With God on my side like this, how can I lose? If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for me, embracing my condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn’t gladly and freely do for me? And who would dare tangle with God by messing with me, one of God’s chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger? The One who died for me — who was raised to life for me – is in the presence of God at this very moment praying for me. Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between me and Christ’s love for me? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture.
None of this fazes me because Jesus loves me. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing — nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable — absolutely nothing can get between me and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced me.