2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold all things have become new.
One of the things I’ve always been drawn to is environmental causes. This has been true since I was a child. There was always a sense of grief, and utter confusion at the witnessing of the destruction of God’s creation. This led me to participate in many groups, organizations, and efforts dedicated to ‘saving the earth’ if you will. Most of the efforts sought reconciliation between man and earth, mostly through the advocacy of man’s acceptance of the sacredness of the natural world. To me, it seemed reasonable.
As a new Christian, I now rest assured in Jesus. Despite the world around me, in its chaos and destruction, I know without doubt that Jesus renews. One issue that has come up in partnership recently is still this need to bring about renewal on earth through preserving, respecting, and honoring creation. I’ve wrestled with this, in part because I have not encountered much through my reading of scripture about this. Until this morning.
In reading Romans 8 (NKJV), I came to understand that even creation awaits eagerly for Him, as “the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption.” This speaks of Jesus’ authority over everything, and is truly cause for celebration. Through His return, creation is renewed.
From Suffering to Glory
18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; 21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. 23 Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. 24 For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.
After encountering this, I recalled many instances where the earth trembles before the Lord, as it expresses in amongst other places, Nahum 1:5 (NKJV). The earth is intelligent, as some say, not only because it is God’s creation, but also because it recognizes Jesus.
5 The mountains quake before Him,
The hills melt,
And the earth heaves at His presence,
Yes, the world and all who dwell in it.
It’s important to recognize that even in the destruction that we see, in whatever ways we encounter it, we must remember that all of creation eagerly awaits His return, and respects His authority. It is certainly cause for reflection when encountering the morning song of the bird, the cool mid-day breeze, and even the breathtaking setting sun. He subjects creation to hope. And in that, we can release the anxiety and stress of the chaos, and instead rest in a place of extreme gratitude and full recognition of His glory and fulfillment. It speaks to God’s kindness and love. It speaks to God’s grace.
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.