My favorite time of year has always been winter. I love the cold weather, sitting around a fire, and staring deep into leafless woods. I find great joy in walking long distances through the forest and hearing the cool breeze blow through dry sticks. In fact, this is exactly what I was doing with my family last Saturday evening. The sun was starting to set and we walked a short one mile trail behind our house before it got too dark. Everyone was bundled in warm jackets and boots while we hiked through a lifeless forest.
As we walked I thought about how God crafted seasons. In His wisdom He ordains fall, winter, spring, and summer. Each time has a purpose and it connects to the season before and after it. It is currently winter, but in a few short months it will be spring. Winter is the height of death, and everything stops. However, when spring begins all dead things come back to life. This made me think of Romans 8 and our study of firstfruits.
For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. 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.
Paul tells us that creation was subjected to futility because of sin. This means that creation struggles with bondage and groans to be set free. God subjected creation to the winter of death in hope of the spring that brings life. Spring is a reminder that after death comes new life; God is making all things new. But creation isn’t the only thing groaning. We are groaning for our eternal spring in Jesus; for in that moment we will be made new.
God is making all things new.
By placing our hope in Jesus we were sealed with the Holy Spirt as a promise. We can take hope that we will definitely reach spring because we have the firstfruits of the Spirit. Our bodies will be redeemed even though we must wait for it. Like the spring waits for the winter to have it’s full work, we wait in patience for the eternal spring of creation.
While we wait, the bitterness of cold turns to joy. Instead of cursing the winter and the death of nature, we take long walks through the woods and think on how God gave us a seasonal reminder that He is good. We find the joy in winter because we have the power to persevere. We have the firstfruits of the Spirit, and we know spring is coming.
God gave us a seasonal reminder that He is good.
If you would like to study more about the firstfruits of the Spirit, and how we can persevere in pain join us this Sunday at Red Hills. We will be finishing our message series on firstfruits, and you can prepare by reading Romans 8:1-25.
- Marshall Ochs
A few things to pray for
As you spend time in prayer this week, join with us by praying for these things:
- Pray that you see hope in the middle of pain.
- Pray that your life reflects the coming glory of Jesus.
- Pray for perseverance in the middle of adversity so that you can make much of Jesus.