Romans 8:23-25, New International Reader's Version (NIRV)
23And that’s not all. We have the Holy Spirit as the promise of future blessing. But we also groan inside ourselves. We do this as we look forward to the time when God adopts us as full members of his family. Then he will give us everything he has for us. He will raise our bodies and give glory to them. 24That’s the hope we had when we were saved. But hope that can be seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? 25We hope for what we don’t have yet. So we are patient as we wait for it.
Supplies: A smart phone or an old-fashioned stopwatch.
Have you ever had to wait a long time for something? If you have, you know that it seems like minutes take forever to pass by. Remember the night before a vacation trip? Or trying to go to sleep on Christmas Eve? Have you ever had to wait your turn? Waiting is hard. If we lived in a perfect world, waiting might be easy. But in the real world, waiting is hard. Do you think all of God’s creation has trouble with waiting? Have you ever seen a tree whose leaves have turned green long before the others? It couldn’t wait. Have you ever heard a rooster “cock-a-doodle doo” way too early in the morning? That bird couldn’t wait to wake everyone up. We long and wait for a time when there will be no pain or suffering for our loved ones. We long for a time when we will be in perfect relationship with God. While we wait, we pray.
Paul tells us in this passage that when we pray, the Holy Spirit prays with us. The Holy Spirit gives us the promise of blessing us in the future. Paul tells us that we hope for things that we don’t have already, so we pray for those things in the future. And while we pray, we are patient as we wait.
I have a stopwatch on my phone. I am going to set the timer for twenty-five seconds, because this verse is the 25th verse in Romans, chapter 8. When I say go, I will start the watch, and I want us to sit and pray in silence. Do you think you can wait twenty-five seconds in silence and then say “Amen”? It might be hard. Waiting is hard, but now we know that the Holy Spirit gives us hope for the future while we wait.
Let’s pray. I am going to set the clock, and when you hear the alarm, let’s all say “Amen” together. Everyone praying, (25 seconds later), “Amen.”