Feb 07, 2011 Living Now, Waiting for Then
Originally posted on March 9, 2005
“All creation anticipates the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay. For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. And even we Christians, although we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, also groan to be released from pain and suffering. We, too, wait anxiously for that day when God will give us our full rights as his children, including the new bodies he has promised us. Now that we are saved, we eagerly look forward to this freedom. For if you already have something, you don’t need to hope for it. But if we look forward to something we don’t have yet, we must wait patiently and confidently.” Romans 8:21-25 (NLT)
Nothing should take away from our faithful, passionate, and productive living in the here and now. We are called to make the God connection in all things in this world, to join God in this world to provide the common grace needed to live, and to serve the cause of Christ’s redemption of people in this world. We do this because God is the Creator of all, the Provider of all things necessary for life, and the Redeemer of all who call upon Him to be saved. The life we live now, in this world, is shaped by the truth of God.
Waiting for Then
All the while, we are looking ahead. The Bible tells us that God will sum up all things in Christ (Ephesians 1:10). We are told of a day when all creation and all God’s people will be set free from pain, suffering, disease, and death (Romans 8:21-23). On this day, God will perfect all things and bring history to its ultimate goal of praising the glory of His grace (Ephesians 1:14). We call this the Consummation of all things.
Along with God being Creator, Provider, and Redeemer, He is also the Consummator of all things. While living by faith in the now, we also long for, live for, and eagerly wait for then.
Living Now While Waiting For Then
So how does waiting for the consummation of all things help us live now?
1. We are guided by purpose. God’s glory, which will be fully revealed and loved when God consummates all things, becomes our life’s purpose now.
2. We are filled with hope. We do not despair or become pessimists, for God is in control and will make all things right at the proper time.
3. We have energy to persevere in obedience. A positive, God-filled vision of the future helps us fight weariness in doing good.
4. We live with eager expectation for the return of Christ. Anticipation always shapes present thinking, desiring, and acting. Knowing that Christ will return and that God will consummate all things, restoring them to their original purpose to the praise of His glory, will focus our thoughts, purify our desires, and keep our actions in line with His will.
Let’s live now looking for then. “Come Lord Jesus.” (Revelation 22:20)