Recently, I became a new mom to a beautiful baby boy. Wilder, my son, was born prematurely, and suffered from a life-threatening condition that put him in the NICU for 22 days. I’ve never experienced that type of pain before, being separated from my baby night after night. I was a mess, to say the least. By the grace of God, Wilder is home and healthy and we’re worried about normal newborn things now, and the Lord has given me time to process that experience.
This experience has given me a better understanding of the unconditional love God has for us. We are able to put our hope in the love and the glory of God even in times of suffering.
Romans 8:25 says, “But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.”
I love the whole chapter of this particular letter from Paul because it’s all about the immense love God has for us –it’s unconditional. At this point in the letter, Paul is specifically talking about our future glory, and several verses before he tells us that our sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that is going to be revealed to us when we go to be with the Lord. In verse 25, he is encouraging us to have patience in Christ as we wait to meet Him in all His glory, reminding us that God is faithful and His promises remain – we will be with Jesus one day, amen!
As I read this passage over and over, and studied the Word, I couldn’t help but think about how this verse applies to us on a daily basis. How often do we have to have patience? How often is there something on the horizon for us that we’re desperately hoping for, but we just can’t see the outcome, or the end? Sometimes, it may seem unbearable. You see, I hate that my son suffered his first weeks on earth. I hated having to watch him experience life in an incubator, heavily drugged. I was deeply despaired, but not once did I lose hope in Christ, being reminded daily that God was writing Wilder’s story, and it’s so much better than I could ever piece my own version together.
As children of God, it is written that we will suffer with Christ, in order that we may also be glorified with Him. Each of us has suffered in many different ways, and some of you may be suffering now. I want to encourage you to have hope in Christ because He loves us. It is because of God’s unconditional love, because of what Jesus did on the cross, we are called Sons and daughters. And it’s because of this that we can have hope! In our anxieties, depression, sadness, loss, discontentment, worry, fear, - IT IS BECAUSE OF JESUS AND HIS LOVE that we can HOPE, because we know that the suffering we’re enduring is for His glory and we are not alone because of His Spirit that dwells in our very hearts.
I challenge you to take heart, and to stand on the rock that is Christ. Whatever you’re facing, don’t lose hope in Christ, and remember the great victory that defines our very being – Jesus. Have victory in Jesus.