We Cannot Save Ourselves
Open Your Bible
Matthew 19:16-22, Isaiah 24:1-6, Romans 8:5-11, 18-25, Hebrews 7:26-28, Hebrews 9:22
Have you ever waited for something you really wanted? Like really wanted. I bet we all have. Whether you wanted a friend on your first day of school, a fairytale romance, or an elf to do your laundry, we all know what it’s like to wait for something to come to fruition.
It’s hard to be patient when we have big hopes and dreams. We want what we want—now. And while all dreams are different, I believe we have one in common: above all else, we long for heaven.
If we’re honest, we all feel unsatisfied with something in this life. From our personal lives to our politics, our world is grumbling and groaning (Romans 8:22–23). Maybe our relationships haven’t provided the community we need, or our jobs aren’t utilizing our full potential. Or maybe we aren’t the women we know we were created to be. For most of us, there are many sources of personal frustration. Societally, we hear stories of tragedy every day. Tales of injustice and war flood our news feeds. The world is broken. The effects of the fall reverberate in and around us because things are not as they should be.
But why are we surprised when we encounter disappointment in this life? Where does this strong sense that the world should be better come from? We long for a perfect world we’ve never experienced. C.S. Lewis put it best when he said, “If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.”
We were made for another world! In our heartbreak, discouragement, and righteous anger there is a yearning for the new heaven and new earth. Paul describes our eagerness and groaning like a woman in childbirth (v.22). We can’t wait “for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies” (v.23). Yet this redemption is not something we can accomplish on our own. Our separation from the holy God is a chasm we are utterly and irrefutably unable to cross.
Only Christ can reconcile us to God. His sacrifice paid for our sins. His resurrection defeated death forever. The world around us “wastes away and withers,” but we must remember the story isn’t over yet. Jesus came to offer eternal hope, and Jesus is coming back. “The sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is going to be revealed to us” (v.18).
When we feel the weight of the pain and brokenness of this world, we must remember the greater story. We are caught in a fallen world between redemption and restoration. We who have the firstfruits of the Spirit within us should be groaning for more, waiting eagerly and with patience. We long for heaven, and heaven is coming.