Out Of Futility - The Promise of Lent Devotional

Out Of Futility

Read: Romans 8:18-21

Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse.

Romans 8:20

THE WORLD LIES under a curse of futility. We’ve not only noticed that; we’ve experienced the frustration ourselves. Sometimes our plans work out, and we love it when they do, but disappointment is a universal phenomenon. We lament the challenges we face, and we might implicitly or explicitly accuse God of letting us down—as if he were personally opposed to our sense of satisfaction—even when we know that isn’t the case. It’s as if Eden were a secret garden that we think we might have glimpsed from time to time. But the walls are high, and we can never find the gate. Life as we want it to be is always just out of reach.

Creation was subjected to a curse because of humanity’s rebellion—not primarily as a punishment but as a consequence. God had to let us feel the weight of the Fall and experience the results of our independence from him. Otherwise, we might be content in our rebellion and never cry out for a Savior. We would miss out on the reason we were created and never know the Creator. We would be alive without ever really living.

So God subjected the world to frustration, and today we long for the fullness of our redemption. We live in a world that is marred by deterioration and decay, in spite of humanity’s efforts to prop it up, whitewash its problems, and give it the appearance of flourishing. Through the cracks of this world’s facade, we still see mountains of poverty and injustice, pain and suffering, disease and desperation. But we are masters of illusion, and we willingly attend our own show. We distract ourselves in a world of our making while trying to turn it into a better place.

God does not intend to make the world better; he intends to make it new. His Kingdom is not earth’s home-improvement project but a radical renovation. The Messiah establishes a new government. The Incarnation is his charter document, the Cross his signature in blood, the Resurrection his cultural manifesto. Old things are passing away; new things have come. The Garden of Eden may be out of reach, but the city of God is not. The curse has been broken.

Remember that in this season. We were bound in futility but are now unbound. Though we embrace the solemnity of redemption in a fallen world, the promise looms larger. And every day is an opportunity to experience it more fully.


Lord, thank you for breaking the curse of futility. Lead me into fullness of joy. I want to experience every dimension of the promises you have given—for this age and the age to come. Amen.


In what ways have you experienced the futility of the world? In what ways have you experienced the fullness of the Kingdom? How can you participate in God’s “renovation” program for the world?

Further reading: 2 Corinthians 5:17-19

The morning purples all the sky,

The air with praises rings;

Defeated hell stands sullen by,

The world exulting sings.


From the Book: