(17) Sharing in Jesus’ glorious life means sharing in his sufferings as well. (18) But be encouraged: The pain we’re experiencing now—and indeed, all the suffering in the history of the world—is NOTHING compared to the boundless joy and strength for which we are destined.
(19) The whole universe groans as it waits for the full unveiling of the human race as Papa’s children, as it longs for us to step up the plate and participate in the real world. (20) For the universe itself is slowly winding down, running out of gas, moving slowly toward its own death. Papa chose to restrict her creation in this way, (21) with the intent of eventually moving it beyond those limitations. The day will come when the cosmos will be free from its chains of slow decay. The very fabric of space-time will be transformed in the luminous freedom of Papa’s children in the world. (22) The old created order will give birth to New Creation, but in the meantime, the universe writhes and groans in the pain of childbirth. (23) We ourselves are experiencing that pain now, because through Sarayu we have already tasted the fruit of the new world. We groan inwardly as we long for more, as we wait for the full effect of our adoption—the liberating transformation of our bodies.
(24) We were freed from the past so that we would have a FUTURE. When the Triune Life was given to us, it was given with an eye toward a glorious future in which that Life would fill the cosmos to overflowing. This is our sure hope, and hope by definition involves stuff we don’t yet see. (25) We hope for what we can’t see yet, and because of this hope Sarayu has given us, we taste this future even while we wait for it.