2 Corinthians 5:4-8  For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.  Now it is God who has made us for this very purpose and has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.  Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord.  We live by faith, not by sight.  We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord … .

How encouraging these inspired words are for us as we struggle with all the frustrations of our present circumstances!

They remind me of what Paul wrote to the believers in Rome: “Now if we are [God’s] children, then we are heirs – heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.  I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.  The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed.  For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.  We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.  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.  For in this hope we were saved.  But hope that is seen is no hope at all.  Who hopes for what he already has?  But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.  In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness.  We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.” (Romans 8:17-26).

 What comfort there is to be found in just reflecting on the ‘unseen’ Holy Sprit’s powerful, profound and very real ministry within us in our weakness, frailty and ever-present vulnerability!  Let us all both give and gain encouragement daily by reminding each other to reflect deeply on these things.

“‘Forever with the Lord’, ‘Amen’, ‘so let it be’!  Life from the dead is in that word, ’tis immortality!  Here in this body, pent; absent from him I roam, yet nightly pitch my moving tent a day’s march nearer home.” (James Montgomery).