Romans 8:19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. 23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
Our passage before us describes what life is like in a world infected by sin, the pain of childbirth. When sin entered the world, literal pain in childbirth for the woman and literal pain for the man in providing materially for the family became the norm (Genesis 3:16-19). The life lived in our world infected by sin is compared to the labor of a woman giving birth. The hope of the woman in labor pains is to give birth to her child and have the labor pains cease. Classes are given to help couples through the labor. Position and breathing patterns are taught to help the woman handle the labor and delivery process. When delivery happens and the mother is given the baby, a great peace and joy come upon the mother. The bride of Christ, the Church, lives life in this sinful world experiencing “labor” pains with the hope of delivery into a new heavens and earth free from the pains caused by sin. This hope is guaranteed by the gift of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13-14).
By giving us the Holy Spirit God has provided for us the resources to live with peace and joy through the “labor” of life and has given us a sure hope of being birthed into a brand new, sin free life. Just as the birthing classes prepared the mother to deal with the pain of labor and stay under control, so the Lord has given us the Holy Spirit to instruct us (John 14:26) how to live through the “labor” of this present sinful environment with peace and joy and in control of our lives. While we wait for our hope to be realized, we can live an abundant life now by obeying the instruction given by the Holy Spirit through the Word of God. We know our position in Christ; we rule with Him and are made righteous in Him (Ephesians 2:6; Romans 5:1). We know “breathing techniques” that help us get through the “labor pains” under control. The “breathing techniques” are the teachings of the Bible.
We live in a world groaning under the cruel bondage of sin. We have hope that it will give way to the freedom of the new heavens and earth where there is no sorrow, pain, mourning or death (Revelation 21:4). Keep remembering our exalted position in Christ and keep practicing the word of God by faith in Jesus. Our “labor” pains will one day give way to our glorious life in the new heavens and earth.