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This Week's Message (January 13)

January 13, 2019 || Pt. 2: Heartless God

Message Notes

I want to Believe But...| The Heartless God God | Romans 8:18-31

Everyone has asked this question: why?

A reflection on suffering:

Romans 8

18 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. 

"creation" = everything, the entire universe

"for the children of God to be revealed" = reference to the End, to the Return of Jesus

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.

Notice the expectation that what will happen to the creation is the same thing that will happen to us: resurrection.

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.

Pay attention to the tone: frustration, bondage, groaning, waiting.

There is a sense that things aren't the way they are supposed to be, and this yearning is built deep into the fabric of everything

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.

intercedes = pray

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.

31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 

Is tragedy God's will?

What is God's response to tragedy?

34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:

“For your sake we face death all day long;

    we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

What is Paul's conclusion to suffering?

Discussion Questions

  1. Why do you think suffering makes people think God is heartless?
  2. Think about how God's answer to evil and suffering is the cross. What difference does this make for you?
  3. Are there particular sufferings that are hard for you to trust in the love of Christ?
  4. How might you explain the love of Christ to someone who is suffering?

Daily Devotional

Read each passage a few times and answer these questions:

What does it mean?

What does it mean to me?

How can I can apply this?

Monday, January 14 - Romans 8:18-30

Tuesday, January 15 - Psalm 23

Wednesday, January 16 - Job 1

Thursday, January 17- Psalm 27

Friday, January 18 - John 16:31-33

Saturday, January 19- Hebrews 11

Read ahead for our worship services

Past Messages

January 6, 2019 || Pt. 1: On Demand God
December 24th, 2018 - Christmas Eve
December 16, 2018 || Pt. 3: Isaiah 55: 12-13

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