Today Pastor Adam completed our study of Romans 8. Even though there will be hard times in all of our lives, there is a hope and a promise and a power bigger than us. Sometimes we confuse the goodness of God and his plan with what WE want and hope for in our lives. Could that be the case in your life?
Pastor Adam alluded to how many verses from Romans 8 are what he calls “Hobby Lobby” verses. They are powerful and poetic and often seen written on wall plaques. But when the rubber meets the road, such as when suffering and hardships enter our lives, do you put these verses into practice? They are truths not meant to be relegated to just being cute and catchy phrases. How might you actually APPLY them this week?
INVITATION: Join us this week as we dig deep into what the Barna group found was the most often asked question about God and religion: If God is all loving, all powerful and all good, why is there suffering and evil in the world?
MONDAY: Romans 8:28: “WE KNOW all things work together.” The Message version states, “That’s why we can be so sure…” This speaks of the assurance we can have that God is in control. No matter if things are going good, bad, mundane, or anywhere in between. Do you trust the author and perfecter of your faith? Perhaps your prayer today, or this week, or maybe even this entire year, can be for God to increase your “know” and “sure” to a place of assurance that God is in control of your life and circumstances.
TUESDAY: Romans 8:29-30: The age old question, and one that keeps people from trusting in God: If God is all loving and knowing, why do bad things happen? Pastor Adam posed the question, “Could there be more than just two sides of God?” Is it possible suffering and hardship can play a role in His love for us and us drawing closer to the heartbeat of God? Perhaps our happiness and comfort are not God’s main objective? Can you rest in the fact - and trust - that God knows more than you do? He is God. We are not God. The Message says, “God knew what He was doing from the very beginning.” Can you walk in that truth today? Consider who is Lord of your life right now.
WEDNESDAY: John 11:35: How does Jesus respond when he encounters suffering? If Jesus wept, do you think it might be okay for you to weep and mourn and grieve in your life and on behalf of others? Pastor Adam mentioned three good outcomes from suffering: 1) We can turn from sin; 2) We can rely more on Jesus rather than ourself; 3) It aids in our journey to become more Christlike. Perhaps you can claim one of these good outcomes in your present suffering? How might you step out in trust today?
THURSDAY: Romans 8:31-33: Paul shifts into legal terminology and asks some good questions in these verses. Choose one of these questions that stands out to you and applies in your life right now. Take this question into your day today and make note of how you see God show up in your attitudes, interactions and situations. At the end of the day, notice how carrying the question with you helped you maintain a focus on Christ during your day. Do you think this might be a way to “pray in all circumstances” as Scripture talks about?
FRIDAY: Romans 8:35-39: NOTHING can separate you from God’s love and the promises of Jesus. How can you walk in that truth today and the days to come? What might help remind you of the position you have with God because of Jesus Christ? Sometimes you must lean on truth over feelings. Consider taking a verse from Romans chapter 8 that particularly speaks into your life and memorizing it as you move forward. Consider, too, that it is a chapter to come back to often when you need to be reminded of the power of Christ and His love and care for you - - no matter what your circumstances or feelings.