Daily it seems that these words cross my mind. Something else, going wrong, unexpected, tragic, discouraging. In those moments hope seems to fade. My response is to create my own reality. I tell myself that it won’t last, or it isn’t really THAT bad. It’s not biblical…well not until now.
Romans 8:19 “For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are.”
This verse is sandwiched in a passage where Paul laments the damnable position of all mankind. He points out that even creation is suffering because of everything gone wrong. But he does not draw a wholly negative picture. There is the anticipation of a future glory. A day when all is as it was intended and should be.
In his commentary on this passage, William Barclay summarizes the situation like this:
“The Christian is involved in the human situation. Within he must battle with his own evil human nature; without he must live in a world of death and decay. Nonetheless, the Christian does not live only in the world; he also lives in Christ. He does not see only the world; he looks beyond it to God. He does not see only the consequences of man’s sin; he sees the power of God’s mercy and love. Therefore, the keynote of the Christian life is always hope and never despair. The Christian waits, not for death, but for life.” (emphasis added)
As a Christian, by faith I accept that God has redeemed me through Christ Jesus. This redemption is not complete until I am able to enter into God’s presence. And so while the world all around me seems to fall apart, I take heart in a different reality.* A reality that will bring hope from despair. A reality that is only found in Christ.
(*Qualifiers: 1. My life is difficult, but not falling apart…it just seems like it sometimes. 2. Denial of reality can lead to unhealthy views of oneself and situation. Denial must be balanced carefully by an honest assessment of whatever your situation might be. Are you contributing to the downward spiral by not owning up to your part of the problem(s)? Overall our attitude and outlook should be positive and hopeful. We know how it all ends and who wins.)
Sin is anything that separates us from God. Right? Is there a name for the acts or things that we do to make us right with God? No. Because what we do doesn’t determine who we are before God (except when it comes to sin). It is faith that is credited to us as humans. So what’s my trouble with sin? Well primarily that sin is something that I do. Sin is so easy to spot. And it seems that the more I recognize sin the harder it becomes to stand up to it. Later in Romans chapter 7 there is this fantastic summary of how this principle works. Paul, a man everyone recognizes as a great apostle of God, records in detail how even he spiraled through this cycle of sin. We come to recognize that the things we are doing are not at all what we want to be doing. Rather than stopping it seems that the desire grows even greater. The realization is that sin is something far greater than a simple act. Sin is something that is so deeply woven into the deepest parts of our being that deliverance can only come by faith. To try and limit sin through outward actions is like battling icebergs with an ice pick.
My conclusion is the same as Paul’s: Thank God for Jesus Christ and his grace!
What thoughts do you have about sin?