18 Feb An Invitation To Groan
Romans 8 Paul is going to take us through 3 unique groaning’s of Gods kingdom:
- Holy Spirit
He uses the Greek word “stenázō” in all 3 sections. Which means “groaning” or to groan because of the pressure being exerted forward (like the forward pressure of childbirth); (figuratively) to feel pressure from what is coming on – which can be intensely pleasant or anguishing (depending on the context).
Intro: Story of my wife in labor having contractions
Romans 8:18-26 (Passions Translation – “A Glorious Destiny”)
V18 I am convinced that any suffering we endure is less than nothing compared to the magnitude of glory that is about to be unveiled within us.
Whatever we are walking through or whatever are are going to walk through is less than nothing compared to what the Lord has for us on the other side.
V19 The entire universe is standing on tiptoe, yearning to see the unveiling of God’s glorious sons and daughters!
Standing on tiptoe – The Greek word used here means “intense anticipation” or “anxiously anticipation what is about to happen (with an outstretched neck is the picture).”
Horse tooth mountain here is Fort Collins is “standing on tiptoe” (with an outstretched neck yearning to see you and I encounter the living God; and because of that, creation is groaning
V20 For against it’s will the universe itself has had to endure the empty futility resulting from the consequences of human sin. But now, with eager expectation,
I love this phrase “But now”. It means something has changed and is different.
V21 all creation longs for freedom from its slavery to decay, and to experience with us the wonderful freedom coming to God’s children when they are glorified.
Could I submit that because of what Jesus did, the entire posture and attitude of creation has completely changed.
Genesis | But Now | Current time
Think about this, creations posture is still very new and fresh. Thousands of years creation endured empty futility (because of our sin). “But now” creations posture is eager expectation (an outstretched neck).
V22 To this day we are aware of the universal agony and groaning of creation, as if it were in the contractions of labor for childbirth.
Could I suggest that we (humans) are the only part of creation that has been given the opportunity to respond and encounter the living God today. The rest of creation is still waiting.
V26 And in a similar way, the Holy Spirit takes hold of us in our human frailty to empower us In our weakness. For example, at times we don’t even know how to pray, or know the best things to ask for. But the Holy Spirit rises up within us to super-intercede on our behalf, pleading to God with emotional sighs too deep for words.
emotional sighs too deep for words | also meaning to “Groan”.
Could it be that the Holy Spirit has molded for us what it means to pray and intercede?
pleading to God with emotional sighs too deep for words | Groaning to the father
Think about this…This morning before anyone was in this building, the Holy Spirit was here groaning and pleading to the father on our behalf.
Creation is outwardly groaning | as if it were in the contractions of labor for childbirth.
Holy Spirit is outwardly groaning | on our behalf, pleading to God with emotional sighs too deep for words.
V23 And it’s not just creation. We who have already experienced the first fruits of the spirit also inwardly groan as we passionately long to experience our full status as Gods sons and daughters – including our physical bodies being transformed.
It’s easy to passionately long to experience something that we don’t have, But I want to highlight this inward groan that Paul talks about.
What if you and I have been invited by the father to have conversation and prayer with him and that’s the “inward groan” that Paul is talking about?
V24 For this is the hope of our salvation. But hope means that we must trust and wait for what is still unseen. For why would we need to hope for something we already have?
V25 So because our hope is set on what is yet to be seen, we patiently keep on waiting for its fulfillment.
Paul is saying this inward groaning | is the hope of our salvation
He then seems to remind us or teach us what hope means | But hope means that we must trust and wait for what is still unseen
Could it be that this inward groan was only intended to be directed towards the father?
What does it look like for you and I when faced with difficulties to actually bring them to the Lord in prayer?
Look at the Israelites and how they responded to almost every situation they were in:
Israelites | Grumbled and bickered to one another
Moses | Broke away and prayed with the Father – Inwardly Groaned
Both experienced “stenázō” or “groaning”, but Moses directed it towards the father.
Paul is clear that in life you and I will face suffering and hardship | V18 I am convinced that any suffering we endure
I would love to submit that we have been invited by the Lord in every circumstance to inwardly groan with him in prayer and conversation, but it is our choice in who we direct it to.
*Will your life be a story of a person who faced hardship and suffering and grumbled to people around you? Or will your life be a story of a person who faced difficulty, yet decided to inwardly groan and pray with the father saying “I trust you, even though I cannot see whats ahead”?