Romans contains some of the most thought provoking words in the Bible. We must read it meditatively several times over to take in all the points. More than any other book, it calls for diligent and reflective. The Bible cannot be treated like a school text book that you go through in one year and then leave on the shelf for occasional reference. God’s word is designed for our lifelong reading bringing spiritual perceptions and enjoyment.

Paul had been brought up under the Law of Moses with all its rules and regulations. He had been zealous for the Law, but as a result of his dramatic conversion, he had applied his mind to the new reality of eternal things – and learnt the wonder of an ongoing personal relationship with his Saviour. The Law of Moses had been a law for the nation of Israel, but now each individual could have a personal relationship with their Saviour and with the Father.

Paul makes the point; “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing …” (8:18,19). This sense of eagerness is keenly felt by those who see the emptiness in nearly all that most find enjoyable today. Paul says we “groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies” (verse 23).

Those who find this life satisfying and enjoyable will not have eagerness for that which is going to replace it. But for many in the developing world, this life offers little to be enjoyed other than fellowship with each other. Yet, in God’s eyes, those living in such situations are likely to be far more spiritual.

Meditate prayerfully on these words near the end of Romans 8. “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? …. No, in all these things we are more than conquerors, through him who loved us” (verses 35,37). However, could not our lack of “eager longing” separate us?