You may judge of a man by what he groans after.
1. Growing Christians are groaning Christians (Romans 8:22-23).
- Every Christian in whom the Holy Spirit has begun an eternal work, experiences these groans “for the adoption, the redemption of [the] body.”
- Christians groan to be in the presence of the Lord.
- From David Brainerd’s diary: “Felt insatiable longings after God much of the day. I wondered how poor souls do to live that have no God. The world with all its enjoyments vanished. I see myself very helpless, but I have a blessed God to go to. I longed exceedingly to be dissolved and to be with Christ, to behold His glory. Oh, my weak, weary soul longs to arrive at my Father’s house!”
2. Growing Christians groan for holiness.
- Growing Christians long for a holy heaven, not just a restful one. They look forward to holy relationships, not just nostalgic ones.
- “But neither a … longing to be in Heaven, nor longing to die, are in any measure so distinguishing marks of true saints, as longing after a more holy heart” (Jonathan Edwards).
- We do not groan for heaven to escape the trials and tribulations of this world, but to be with the Jesus who removed the sins by which we groan.
- “People say, ‘You must be looking forward to Heaven,’ thinking I am looking forward to getting my new body. And after more than twenty-five years in a wheelchair, it’s true that I am. But more than that I am looking forward to my new body [she said with her voice choking with emotion] I am looking forward to a heart without sin” (Joni Eareckson Tada).
3. Growing Christians groan for holiness in heaven more than anything.
- A holy heaven is “far better” than any life in the flesh (Philippians 1:22-23; 2 Corinthians 5:2; 2 Corinthians 12:1-4).
- “Yes, we do long for the holiness of Heaven and the face of God above everything else” (Martyn Lloyd-Jones).
4. Groaning Christians are growing Christians.
- They set their minds on things above (Colossians 3:1-2).
- Groaning Christians purify themselves in anticipation of seeing the Pure One (1 John 3:2-3).