In Romans 8 St. Paul points to two great truths which every true believer knows. The first (Verses 22,23) he knows by experience; the second (Verse 28) he knows by faith.
“For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body” (Rom. 8:22,23).
The words “until now,” in this passage, are significant, for our Lord came to earth healing the sick, cleansing the lepers, making the blind to see, the deaf to hear and the lame to leap for joy. But He was rejected by sinful men and nailed to a cross.
After His resurrection and ascension His persecutors were given another chance, however, as Peter called upon them to repent so that “the times of refreshing” might still “come from the presence of the Lord” (Acts 3:19,20). But again the King and His blessed kingdom were rejected so that, in the words of Paul, the whole creation continues to groan and travail in pain “together until now.”
But in this passage the Apostle points out that even God’s children are not exempt from this suffering, for the most sincere believer, the most consecrated saint, must still partake of the sufferings and sorrows of the world while he waits for “the redemption of our body,” when “we shall all be changed” (I Cor. 15:51).
But while every believer knows about suffering and sorrow by experience, there is something else he knows by faith. Verse 28 speaks of this:
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).
The true Christian is not a mere optimist; he is a believer in God’s Word, and God has much to say about how He is working all out for the good of His own. We have room here to quote but two passages:
“For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” (II Cor. 4:17).
“For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Rom. 8:18).