Tag Archives: Romans 8:19-25

Are you in “the pains of childbirth?”

Easter changes everything. The resurrection of Jesus Christ established historical precedent. It also provided immense ramifications for his believers: not only a new and wonderful life after death but an abundant life right now. His gift of the Holy Spirit provides a measure of that same resurrection power in our own lives – power to live victoriously in spite of the troubles we face.

While this is true, it doesn’t always seem that way, does it? We look around and see the world in disarray, hurting and despair wherever we turn. Everything seems in a state of decay, slowing dying. Even our scientists observe that all things are bent toward entropic deterioration and decay. Whether we’re faced with crushing pain or a deep sadness over our lot in life, or whether we’re facing the pain of disease that ravishes our body, it’s sometimes hard to think that things are going to get better. It seems that we, along with the whole world, groan for resurrection. (Romans 8:19)

It looked that way on the Friday Jesus was crucified. All hopes and dreams were dashed. Jubilation was replaced by deep sorrow. Confidence lost out to fear. It was the darkest hour of all time. That was Friday. But Sunday was coming! Sunday would (and did) change everything. Sunday brought the resurrection, new life, restored hope, and renewed faith. When things looked like they could not get any worse, they suddenly became miraculously better – much better!

“The whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth, right up to the present time.” (Romans 8:22) Did you catch the comparison? The excruciating pains of childbirth are real but they are temporary.  Temporary pain is exchanged for the joy of new life! We understand that in the hospital labor room. But can you see this truth in the labor room of your present pains, your current sorrow, and your very real disappointments? As dark and terrifying as they seem, they are about to give birth to new light and new life, if Jesus is at work. Temporary suffering, even if it is for a lifetime, is not forever. All things will be made new. Just as the first two chapters of the bible speak to the creation of heaven and earth, the last two chapters speak of the new heaven and earth. And here we are in the middle of that magnificent story of God’s redeeming love. The resurrection power of God takes us from the pains of childbirth to the miracle of new life. We experience that restoration “on earth – as it is in heaven” when we allow God’s Spirit to renew us in the midst of our present trial.

How does thinking about your current struggles change when you consider them like the temporary pains of childbirth, about to give birth to a new, more abundant and victorious life? A life that may be “hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. . . Death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.” 2 Corinthians 4:8-12

LIFE is at work in you. New life in the presence of death and decay, joyful hope in the presence of current sorrows, victory snatched from the jaws of defeat. This is the abundant life Jesus offers to each of us. It’s yours, and mine, for the believing and receiving.

I don’t know about you, but I’m trading my sorrows for the joy of the Lord.

The Christmas gift of joy




Joy to the world, The Lord has come! Let earth receive her king. Let every heart prepare Him room, and heaven and nature sing!


“Joy to the world” is a hallmark of the arrival of Christmas. But we might forget why the whole earth should rejoice. We might find that joy eludes us in the darkness of our lives, even at Christmas. For some Christmas is the darkest season, scarred by past memories that continue to cloud the light of joy in their lives. But even in that dark place, perhaps especially in that darkness, there is cause for certain joy.


Just as a family awaits the birth of a newborn child, the world waited for the birth of the Christ child. Shepherds were watching. Wise men were seeking. Paul describes creation as “groaning as in the pains of childbirth” for the Messiah Lord to be revealed not only to us, but IN us. (Romans 8:19-25)


Troubles continued but “Joy to the World, The Lord has come!”


Let earth receive her King. Jesus didn’t arrive in the manner accustomed to kings, nor did everyone receive him as King, then or today. But there is certain joy promised to those who do. To those who realize that Jesus is king at all times, when things seem good, and to when we are suffering.


Let everyone prepare Him room. There was no room for Him in the inn. Is there room for Him in your heart? Jesus proclaimed, “I know that you are Abraham’s descendants. Yet you are looking for a way to kill me, because you have no room for my word.” John says that Jesus IS the Word. If we have no room in our lives for receiving and obeying His Word, where will we find true and lasting joy?


The gift of Christmas joy isn’t stifled by a messy manger. It isn’t subdued by past hurts or present circumstances. Joy is found in what we’ve already been given and in the anticipation of things yet to come.


Let your life proclaim, “Joy to the world, The Lord has come!”
Receive the gift of christmas Joy and remember, joy grows when we share it with others.