Saturday, September 14, 2013

Creation Groans

Proverbs 24:10 says "If you faint in the day of adversity, Your strength is small." My resolve was tested this past week and it proved to me that it doesn't take much for me to become overwhelmed. Our lovely dilute "tortie" had some serious symptoms and we took her to the vet for our first time. She had been to the vet's before, but that was before we suddenly adopted her when her owner, my dear father in law, unexpectedly passed away. Even cats can mourn. Ours took many weeks to get over her grief and separation. Yet, in the Word it says all the creatures are groaning for something that is soon to break over this sin-weary world.

In Romans we are told that the creation is groaning for their Redeemer to come and make things right here again on Planet Earth. In chapter 8:19-22 tells us: "For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope;
because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God."

Have you noticed that the earth itself is groaning too? Think of all the increased natural disasters that seem to be a daily occurrence anymore. I think of the devastation in Boulder, Colorado. It is heartbreaking to view the destruction there. Volcanoes are suddenly awakening and people have to run for their lives. There has been an increase in the number of earthquakes, and now there are super-tornadoes, like what hit Moore, Oklahoma this spring. These are just a few of the strange phenomenon that have increased lately. Some may just pass it off as nothing, but I can't. Things are changing here on planet earth, and birth pangs for our new creation have started.

The Animal and Plant Kingdoms of this earth are longing for Jesus' return. They exist for His glory, even as mankind is given that opportunity. But now we see many animals dying in strange ways. Massive fish kill offs, dolphins washing ashore helplessly, birds falling from the sky. Creation is waiting...waiting for that Glorious Day when we will see a New Heaven and a New Earth. There will be no sickness, no death in that Kingdom, and no chance for sin to ever enter it. In the book of Revelation we are promised that these things will be so:

"And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful." Revelation 21: 1-5

All human beings were born with a God-shaped vacuum in their souls. That is, nothing else will satisfy that hollow place except a relationship with God via His Son Jesus Christ. When we praise Him, we are lifted beyond our cares to see His majesty and power above all things. It takes our eyes away from the situation and onto Him, who is all powerful above every adversity we would ever face. Besides that, it brings peace to our over-stressed and hurried lives.

Psalm 148 tells us:

"Praise the LORD from the earth,
You great sea creatures and all the depths;
Fire and hail, snow and clouds;
Stormy wind, fulfilling His word;
Mountains and all hills;
Fruitful trees and all cedars;
Beasts and all cattle;
Creeping things and flying fowl;
Kings of the earth and all peoples;
Princes and all judges of the earth;
Both young men and maidens;
Old men and children.
Let them praise the name of the LORD,
For His name alone is exalted;
His glory is above the earth and heaven.
And He has exalted the horn of His people,
The praise of all His saints—
Of the children of Israel,
A people near to Him.

Praise the LORD!"

Even the animals will be delivered from earth's corruption. One day, all the sadness of this present life will be gone. One day, the confusion and bewilderment will be answered. And the creatures too, will be praising our Redeemer who makes all things new!

The solution to stress? Look away from myself and my situation, rather let me get back to the simplicity of:

"...looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." Hebrews 12:2

Will you join me?

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