As we move through Romans 8, we come to some of the most famous verses in the Bible. They are so much more than words on a page!
His Prayers…are more than words
Look at the first two verses in this section. “In the same way the Spirit also helps us in our weakness, because we do not know what to pray for as we should, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with inexpressible groanings. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because he intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.” Anyone feel weak today? The Holy Spirit is praying for you! Anyone not know the words to pray? The Holy Spirit does! Certainly there are things we know from Scripture. Job said, “I know that my Redeemer lives.” John said, “We know that we have passed from death to life.” But sometimes, we can be at a loss. How do we balance what we know and what we do not know? We do not know what is best for us or what the future holds. We can get out of the way and let God make the decision. I often pray, “Lord you make the decision for me. Left to myself I will make the wrong decision.” We do not know how to pray but we know God is at work. We don’t know what God is always doing. Take comfort in knowing that we have Someone praying for us and in us when we can’t even pray ourselves. The Spirit knows the mind and will of God. The “groans” will get to the right place. Groan indicates deep emotion. He is feeling our pain with us. The Holy Spirit is in our hearts making intercession for us. The Lord Jesus Christ is in heaven making intercession for us (Rom. 8:34). The Spirit prays “according to the will of God.” First John 5:14 says God always answers prayer in accordance to His will.
His Promises…are more than words
Verse 28 says, “We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God….” Not all things are good, but God promises to work all things for our good. “All things” means all things, and that includes the suffering of this present time. Everything is under God’s dominion. Too many people are bound by yesterday. They’re shackled by their past mistakes or poor choices. Bad things, pain, failure, and mistakes God will work so that setbacks become set ups! He works these things together for good. In cooking or baking the raw ingredients are not good but they are mixed together for good! All our hurts will one day be turned into hallelujahs! Too often we are like Jacob in Genesis 42:36 saying, “All these things are against me.” What Paul is saying in Romans 8 is the same message Joseph spoke in Genesis 50:19: “You meant evil against me; but God meant it for good….” God is the only one who can take evil and turn it for good! Joseph didn’t deny what his brothers did was evil. This fallen world is full of evil. He did not say, “Well they meant well.” No, they meant evil! But God meant good. Joseph did not make this statement of faith as a child, a teen, in the pit, or in the prison. It was as he looked back on his life. It was a process. One day in hindsight you will be able to understand the why behind the wait. We can look back and see what God was doing. In the meantime, God is doing something in you. If you take care of God’s business, God will take care of your business. Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow is what God offers you. Instead of only asking God to get you out of it, also ask him what you should get out of it. He has a greater purpose.
His Purpose…is more than words
Verse 28 in its entirety reads, “We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.” When you hear that “God has a plan and purpose for your life,” it is more than words! Everything that happens to you is not good, but God takes all of it and uses it for your good and for His glory. God can use anything in your life (divorce, shame, failure, pain, loss). God wants to use what you have been through to help others. That gives us hope today! Ephesians 1:18 says, “that you may know what is the hope of His calling.”Your hope is connected to your calling. Our significance is found in something more meaningful than monetary and material success. What motivates you to get out of bed every morning? So many people say, “There has to be more to life than this.” There has to be a bigger purpose than more money, a bigger house, a nicer car. God has a unique purpose for your life. You will be most fulfilled when God uses your life to touch someone else for eternity. You will say, “I was made for this!” Are you fulfilling your calling? Notice this incredible prayer and promise is only for an exclusive group of people. Those who love God. Do you love God? The next time you doubt Romans 8:28, remember the cross. God took the most evil act in human history and worked it for your good. God demonstrated His love for us that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.