Romans 8:18-30 “Suffering, Sovereignty, and Truth”

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Talking about suffering is difficult; we all have our own unique experiences with the difficulties of this life, both small and large. Pairing this conversation with God’s Sovereignty, recognizing that nothing happens outside of His allowance can be even more troublesome. Debates about how God, who is the measure of all goodness, can allow such seemingly awful things to happen often end in confusion and questions.

Paul takes on this difficult subject though, coupling it with God’s sanctifying work in our lives and reminding us that we don’t suffer alone. All of creation is groaning because of the effects of sin on it. All of it, including our own difficult experiences and pain, is a part of a growing process that, Paul says, will give birth to great glory and freedom on that great and glorious day when with all of creation we will see God and be with Him for all eternity. Oh, how we wait for that day!

Questions to take home:
Paul opens this section by talking about suffering in our lives. In what ways do you experience suffering? How does your experience of suffering draw you closer to Jesus? How does it make you more life Jesus?

As we wait (patiently, of course) for the ultimate revealing of Jesus and the fullness of our Salvation, there are times when it seems too much to handle. How does it make you feel that, when we are overwhelmed, the Spirit of God is still praying on your behalf? What does that change for you in the midst of whatever trial you may be going through?

Read Isaiah 43:1-3 & 55:8-9. Now read Romans 8:28 again. What is your definition of “good” in your life? How do you think that definition compares to God’s “good” plans for you? How does this comparison lead you to greater trust in God?