For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. And not only this, but we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body. Romans 8:22, 23 (New American Standard Bible)
Living today can be compared to the guy on the Titanic that said after it hit an ice berg, “Well, it couldn’t get any worse.” Day to day most of us are constantly astounded how horribly things can become when we think it couldn’t possibly get any worse. The evil in the world and its constant rejection of God makes the righteous groan within their spirits and creation groan and travail for redemption.
Jesus foretold exactly how things would be developing in the days just before His second return (Matthew chapter 24, Luke chapter 21). Knowing what He said and watching the evening news can be a real jaw dropper. The point of Him telling us what would be happening was to serve as a sign that when all these things come together and happen to such an extent people begin to take notice His reappearing is imminent.
The way the world is now brings stresses to creation and the entire human race. We would be completely ruined if we knew the great evil of today was to flourish with no hope of ever stopping. The believer’s travail is a deep longing to be out of this world and present with Christ. His Holy Spirit brings to our hearts hope and optimism that His return is real and will be very soon. Even though we are groaning this hope causes us to eagerly await the redemption of our bodies and all creation. The patience of the saints will be rewarded. He will take those who have believed in Him from travail to triumph. He will keep His word; it is just a matter of time.