Did you know groaning is a spiritual act? Yes, that’s right, there is a deep spiritual groaning that those who have come to experience the Simple Gospel will participate in.
Last week, torrential rains and gale force winds hit the Western Cape of South Africa. At the Oceans Retreat Centre the rains caused flooding and our water tanks to overflow. The winds left broken tree branches scattered throughout the property and 52 mph gusts caused a wall to come crashing down. It took several days to clean up the mess left behind.
But what we faced was nothing compared to the informal settlements that saw total destruction of homes and loss of lives. In an economy with food prices rising and well over 40% unemployment this was another major blow especially to the poor. Sometimes the only thing you can do is let out a sigh or a deep groan.
Lately, Patty and I have viewed too many funeral’s online of friends and those we knew from the churches we served in the States. Some have passed on way too young and others have battled chronic diseases that cut their life short. Again, more deep groans.
The same Holy Spirit that reveals our sin, brings us to a saving faith in Jesus, showed us our loving adoption by our Abba Father, is also sanctifying us, and has deposited in our souls a longing for the “Glory to Come!” (Rom. 8:18,30)
The Simple Gospel awakens us to the fact that we are pilgrims on a journey and this present world is not our home. Our spirit, sealed with the Holy Spirit, longs for the glorious home awaiting us for all eternity.
Notice Paul’s incredible words concerning this:
“We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons and daughters, the redemption of our bodies.” (Rom. 8:23).
Did you catch that, even creation is “groaning” with us.
When our first parents, Adam and Eve, sinned it brought not only death and decay to them, but also creation (see Rom. 8:20). So according to the Word the floods, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, extreme temperatures, etc. is the voice of creation “groaning-this is not how it was to be.” Creation also longs for the Day when Christ returns and makes all the wrongs right, restoring the sons and daughters to the Father without sin, sickness, and physical separation. This includes restoring creation to perfection.
The Simple Gospel shouts out that we can have hope that a glorious future is coming for the Father’s children (8:24, 28-37). This world is not our home “we are just passing through.” And this hope birthed in us by the Holy Spirit becomes a powerful testimony to a world in chaos. We who are anchored to Christ, through the Gospel, have this hope living inside us, a living hope, which testifies that Jesus Christ is our glorious hope. He is why we are able to stand in the midst of heartache, loss and uncertainty.
The suffering and pain around us and even in us should lead to a spiritual groan, which becomes our prayer, “Come Lord Jesus Come!”