8 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19 For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.
22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.
26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.
28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.
What sucks about hard seasons is it’s hard to see the point. Most of us can push through something painful if we at least know the purpose. I can work out if I know it’s going to make me stronger. I can study, if I know I’m getting a degree. I can practice if I know a championship is on the line. I can work overtime, if I know I’m in line for a promotion.
But often in life, we’re hit with something that seems random. We’re hit with a storm that seems as steady as the wind. A global pandemic upends our way of life. The economy crashes right when we’re looking for a job.
The relationship fails again. Your friend cuts you off out of nowhere. You’re discriminated against simply because of who you are. That’s the stuff that’s hard to look past. And if you’re not careful, you can become bitter, not just at your circumstance or even at a person, but with God Himself.
This is why theology is important. Because if you read scripture and see a God who is as out of control as you are and simply tries His best to bless those who He loves, your faith will falter. But if you read scripture and conclude that God is writing all of history, it implies that everything has a purpose. Including the situation that you’d rather not be in right now.
Whether that’s encouraging or not is really up to you. We can sulk at His sovereignty, and think “if I was God, I would do it differently” or we can surrender to His sovereignty, and say “His ways are higher than my own.”
I’m not asking you to have blind faith, I’m asking you to consider the blind men who had faith and allowed Jesus to wipe mud and spit on their eyes. That may not have been comfortable, but I’m sure their sight was worth it.
I’m asking you to consider Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego who told the king their God would deliver them from the fiery furnace, but even if He didn’t they still wouldn’t bow. As it turns out, God doesn’t prevent them from getting thrown in the fire. Instead, He jumps in with them, and they come out unharmed with their king worshipping the King.
I’m asking you to consider Jesus, who asked God the Father if there was any way He could get out of going to the cross but concluded, “not my will but your will be done.” That will that Jesus surrendered to, was His resurrection, glory, and our salvation.
I’m asking you to consider that God always wants to do more in & through us than we even know to ask. I’m not asking you to not be honest, I’m just asking you to have an honest perspective. Has He ever left you? Has He ever forsaken you? Why would He start now?
You can walk through the fire in confidence when you know who is walking with you. You are never alone. There’s another in the fire. And the promise of the Father is not just that He’ll see you on the other side, but that He carries you through to the other side.
I don’t know what you’re going through right now, but I know there’s a purpose to it. And if you choose to surrender, He just may let you see it.
- What’s something you’ve been through that at the time looked pointless, but turned out to be purposed?
- How do you mature to the point that you can join Paul in rejoicing always?
- Are there areas of your life that if you’re being honest don’t seem redeemable?
- Romans 8:18-30 – what stood out to you from this text?
- Why is it reassuring that God is sovereign and close in the middle of your trials?