Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. Romans 8:23
What we experience now is only the firstfruits of the Spirit, but one day we will experience the whole crop! “Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known” (1 John 3: 2). We live between the ‘now’ and the ‘not yet.’
Now we are children of God and we experience some of the blessings of God’s kingdom, but not all. We see glimpses of his kingdom. We see some healings, some miracles but we know that not everyone is healed, and not everyone who needs a miracle receives one. These firstfruits should encourage us to believe and pray, “Your kingdom come” because we desire to see more and more of his kingdom forcefully advancing and impacting our world for good (Matthew 11:12).
Meanwhile, we groan inwardly as we wait to experience all that God has for us. We groan because we are often overwhelmed with the consequences of living in a broken world and our inability to make an impact in the face of so many difficulties. Yet we can have hope because we know God has so much more to reveal. “‘No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him’— but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit” (1 Corinthians 2:9-10).
While groaning is our inward experience, hope is our outward expression. Hope doesn’t deny the world’s brokenness but looks forward to receiving the full harvest of God’s promises.