Having shown the glorious blessings available to man through Christ and unavailable to the one trying to be saved by law-keeping, Paul now moved to show that the redeemed are willing to suffer for Christ. He began by saying, “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Rom 8:18). Having stated that, he showed that the person who is redeemed by the precious blood of Jesus is willing to endure whatever temptations and tribulations and persecutions there might be for him to suffer under the sun, that he might have the hope of glory in heaven.
To encourage man to endure this persecution, he shows that the whole creation itself is involved in suffering. Many of the things which Christians endure on this earth below are sufferings that are typical for all men and not merely for Christians. Even as non-Christians die of cancer, so also do Christians. Even as non-Christians die of heart diseases, so also do Christians. When famines hit, the Christians suffer right along beside the world. And so, in Romans 8:19-22, Paul showed that the whole world is suffering in hope of something better later on.
Then, he moved to show that not only does the whole world, but even the elite of Christianity had to suffer. In Rom 8:23, he said, “And not only they, (that is the whole creation) but ourselves also which have the first fruits of the spirit even we ourselves groan within ourselves waiting for the adoption to wit the redemption of our bodies.” His point is that even the apostles and the firstborn of Christianity had to endure suffering. Consequently, we who are walking after the spirit today ought not to think it strange that we have to endure infirmities. What we must do is that we must continue to serve – to serve in hope of the glory that will be later revealed to us. Consequently, as we plod through the tribulations and persecutions of this life below, we plod in hope of a better life, a better reward than what we presently have, “For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man sees, why does he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it” (Rom 8:24-25).
During this time that we are on this earth below, we have the Holy Spirit to help us with our infirmities. In Romans 8:26,27, Paul said, “Likewise, the spirit helps our infirmities, for we know not what we should pray for as we ought but the Spirit itself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered and he that searches the heart knows what is the mind of the spirit because he makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” We ought, therefore, to endure suffering because we have the Holy Spirit helping us during these groanings. There have been times when each of us was suffering so much that he just could not put into words the things which he was feeling within his body. As he prayed to God at that time, the Spirit presented to God what he was needing and made intercession in his behalf. We have that hope for us.
We are willing to suffer because we know that all things work together for good to them that love the Lord (8:28). We are willing to suffer because we know that eventually God will glorify His saints (Rom 8:29-30). “Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him” (Jam 1:12).