All titles of movies, television shows, songs, or your favorite book mean something. The meaning may be straightforward or conceptual, but the title is definitely well thought out and guides the direction of the entire project. This website is no different.
From Groans to Glory took a lot of reflection and examination, but after a lot of prayer, this title was chosen to represent life and the hope found in God. I considered many different options, but I believe From Groans to Glory is perfect to portray life and hope.
Just in case you’re not aware, which is completely understandable, From Groans to Glory comes right from Romans 8. This section of the Bible reflects the reality of the world we live in while also providing hope for what is that come.
Let’s take a look at Romans 8:18-30 and see the beauty of God’s Word.
(Warning: This will be text heavy. AND the explanation comes after I break down the text.)
Groaning on Earth
This influential text explains that the world and we are groaning. We are not the only ones in pain and suffering during this present time, and we are not the only ones that anticipate the future that God promises.
For the creation eagerly waits with anticipation for God’s sons to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to futility — not willingly, but because of him who subjected it — in the hope that the creation itself will also be set free from the bondage to decay into the glorious freedom of God’s children. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together with labor pains until now.
Romans 8:19-22 (emphasis added)
The creation, the entire world, groans to “be set free from the bondage to decay into the glorious freedom of God’s children.” Everything around us is aching in pain from all the effects of sin, which corrupted it and is slowly in “decay.” The creation was perfect, and sin is destroying it, so it’s waiting for God to make it right. Also, we groan on Earth… duh…
Not only that, but we ourselves who have the Spirit as the firstfruits — we also groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. Now in this hope we were saved, but hope that is seen is not hope, because who hopes for what he sees? Now if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with patience.
Romans 8:23-25 (emphasis added)
We groan waiting for God’s salvation and “the redemption of our bodies.” On Earth, we groan from sadness, depression, grief, despair, death, and all kinds of pain (there are countless ways we are in pain and groan because of it). In the Garden of Eden, there was no sin, no pain, no suffering, and a perfect relationship with God. When sin entered through Adam and Eve, the world and all human beings began their groaning for something better.
We’re in pain. We’re suffering. We’re awaiting something perfect, once again. We are groaning.
God Helps Us
So, we’re suffering. Where’s God? What the heck? Does He just let us groan in our pain and suffering like He’s just watching us writhe in pain?
Well, no. He doesn’t just sit there. He’s there for us and knows our needs, even when we don’t know what we need.
In the same way the Spirit also helps us in our weakness, because we do not know what to pray for as we should, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with unspoken groanings. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because he intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
Romans 8:26-27 (emphasis added)
Okay, first you need to know the Spirit in our Helper/Counselor (John 14:26), so it’s His responsibility to help us in our time of need. So, the Holy Spirit is said to do two things for us as we groan: (1) He helps us know what to pray for when we groan and (2) He intercedes (prays for us to the Father) “for the saints” in our “unspoken groanings.” Those unspoken groaning are not said by us but the Spirit knows us so well that He prays to the Father for things He knows we need.
God is there for us. He doesn’t just watch your moments of pain without taking action. He helps us. He prays for us. He sustains us and gives us the best thing he could give: Himself.
Glory to Come
We groan on Earth, God helps in our pain and suffering, and then what? If there was no groaning, pain, suffering in Eden – and we messed that up – do we have any hope of going back to how it all began? The ending of this text gives us hope in our suffering and assurance of His plan.
We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. For those he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, so that he would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; and those he called, he also justified; and those he justified, he also glorified.
Romans 8:28-30 (emphasis added)
Two things to focus on (there could be countless posts on just this part):
1. All Things For Our Good
All things. All. Not Some. “… all things work together for the good of those who love God…”
“This pain, this cancer, this injury, this intense suffering os for my good?” Yes. All things. “But, how?” I don’t know. The most helpful article I’ve come across is John Piper. He provides the “5 R’s” to explain Five Purposes For Suffering: repentance, reliance, righteousness, reward, and reminder. While all of these should be explored in great detail, I think it’s important to remember these two on his list: reliance and reminder.
“Reliance” refers to the importance of trusting God of above all of that the world can offer. This is usually a hard lesson to learn, but we can look back and say that all things pointed me in the direction after relying on Jesus more. “Reminder” is that during suffering we are reminded that God sent his Son into the world to suffer for your good and the forgiveness of your sins. This reminds us that through all of our suffering God understands and is able to empathize with you.
2. What is “Glory?”
The Bible makes it very clear that heaven will be nothing like the world that we live in today: broken, full of sadness, fear, suffering, and pain all around us. Scripture confidently says that life will be perfect in every single way, and the book of Revelation contains an amazing picture of what our future glory will look like.
In Revelation 21 John is given a vision of The New Creation (the future glory). John says that in his vision that there will be “a new heaven and a new earth.” The Earth is described as a transformed and sin-free, formed and created by God Himself, and a perfect place for God and His people to live in perfect and unending peace.
John also describes how we will live in heaven. In heaven there will be no more sadness, grief, despair, pain of any kind, and no more death. Now in heaven there will unalterable joy, certain hope, life forevermore, and He will wipe every tear from our eyes. Our future glory is one that is absent of the things that go wrong, and we will get to live an eternity with God where joy increases every moment.
That’s the “glory” that we are looking to. And how does this help me now, in my pain and suffering? I left out verse 18 so we could look at it now.
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is going to be revealed to us.
When we suffer now, we can know that our eternity will be made right and that all things worked together for our good. We may suffer for years on Earth, but there is a hope and a promise: “I am making everything new” (Revelation 21:5a).
Why I Chose From Groans to Glory
So, why did I choose this section of the Bible to guide and shape this website?
Simple: my story.
A little over three years ago I went through a traumatic episode of life. I went into heart failure, clinically died over 75 times, and suffered a life-altering brain injury. It is a miracle that I survived to write this. Ever since then, I have been recovering in all aspects of life (standing, walking, eating, all fine motor fiction, and speaking).
This text hit me like a ton of bricks. It’s so real about pain and suffering, but it ends with hope for redemption of all things, resulting in my future glory with God in heaven. It’s honest and hopeful.
I want you to read my articles while hearing the honesty and realness of life on this earth, which includes deep pain and suffering, while also hearing the hope that Jesus offers to His children, a future glory with no pain and suffering and an unalterable joy of being with God’s forever.
This website is about God bringing us From Groans to Glory.