Hope in Jesus

Suffering certainly is not anyone’s favorite topic and we all try to avoid it. Romans 8 speaks about suffering and that even creation experiences it. It is put in place to let us know this world is not the way its supposed to be and this is not our true home.  C.S. Lewis calls it “God’s megaphone.”  

Even though suffering can seem like a dark topic we try to ignore, Romans encourages us that we suffer with hope, we do not suffer alone and even the God of the universe suffers alongside us.  Be encouraged! 

INVITATION:  Join in this week for a Biblical view of suffering rather than the typical secular view. How can you focus on “future glory” in your life this week as opposed to only the here and now? 

MONDAY:  Romans 8:17:  This verse seems to make a distinction about suffering for Christ and suffering WITH Christ. You are not alone in your sufferings. How can you include Jesus into your deepest places?  With the ancient Christian season of Lent upon us, how might you “share in the sufferings of Christ” during the weeks leading to the miraculous and glorious event where we celebrate his resurrection and glory (Easter)?  Have you ever thought of focusing on the suffering Jesus went through? Many find it is helpful in truly believing that he knows and understands our own suffering. Scripture talks about “by His wounds we are healed.” Could there be healing for you as you focus on the suffering of Jesus Christ? 

TUESDAY:  Romans 8:18: When we suffer we typically focus only on relief. However, this verse indicates there is some “future glory” to be considered. Pray that you can have a paradigm shift or perspective clarification in regard to how you view suffering in your life. This verse states that you will somehow have “glory revealed” through it.  How does that make you feel about your suffering or the suffering of a loved one? 

WEDNESDAY: Romans 8:19-21: Blaine Butcher pointed out that suffering tells us something is wrong with this world. Suffering points to this world not being our true home.  How can you make a choice in your life to suffer WITH Christ as opposed to leaving Him out of how you are truly feeling about things going on in your life or in this world? 

THURSDAY:  Romans 8:22-23: Spend some time today praying and meditating on the fact that even creation suffers and “groans.” What does that tell you about God? What does that tell you about your own suffering and life on this earth? 

FRIDAY: Romans 8:24-25: The Biblical definition of hope is something that IS going to happen. Do you sometimes hope for what you do not have in regard to a future without tears and suffering? Perhaps you can talk to Jesus about that today.  Even Paul wrote about the frustrations of life here on earth (see 2 Cor. 1:9) and feeling like he can’t go on.  Have you ever poured out similar feelings onto God?  Sometimes believers feel like they are “supposed” to be happy and joyful all the time, but these verses (and others) indicate it is only natural for this world to overwhelm us at times. God is there and will “groan” with you and for you! Pour your heart, mind and emotions out to the one who knows!

SATURDAY:  Romans 8:26-28: Pray today for an awareness of God’s Spirit within you as you seek a new perspective on suffering. Consider taking time to write about some issue that is personal to you, perhaps at work, or perhaps something in the daily news. Allow the Spirit of God to give you ongoing insight as you take that into the day.  Even if you cannot find the words to pray, trust for the “Spirit to intercede” on your behalf in accordance with God’s will. How might that help you in your future prayer life?