One of the most difficult things to understand is the way the world responds to sin. Not simply how we as people respond, but how creation responds to its presence. Think about it this way: Sin is a foreign element, a virus. It doesn’t belong in the world that God created. When we’re sick, our bodies immediately respond to the presence of the intruder, attacking the virus with everything our immune systems can throw at it.
The world responds in a similar way. The world is groaning, longing for redemption and deliverance from its bondage to sin (Rom. 8:20-22). In the same way we all long for the return of Christ so that we will finally be with Him and free from the effects of sin, creation as a whole longs for His return. When Jesus finally does return, He will put an end to its suffering. It will groan no more because the curse will be no more. Jesus will make all things new.
This is what God wants us to remember every time the world seems to be falling apart. When a hurricane ravages a coastal city. When a tornado rips through a small town. When droughts cause meager crops to wither and die. When earthquakes level buildings and tsunamis move islands. These things are not to give us fodder for theological rap battles or self-righteous posturing. All of these are to remind us of the world’s need for Christ—a world broken by all human sin—driving us to pray fervently for His return and to show His love and compassion to those in need.
This post is adapted from Devotional Doctrine, a new book I wrote for The Gospel Project.