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It's Going to Be All Right

Introduction:

      Life is tough; then you die. Thatís what the world tells us. Sadly, sometimes we buy into that philosophy. We see the futility of the world and wonder what is the point. We mess up. Others mess up. People complain and grumble and blame us for everything. It seems like every time we turn around something negative is happening. Through all of this, Satan is trying to tell us everything is getting worse and worse. Everything is going to be all wrong. But in Romans 8:18-39, Paul turns this idea on its head. Yes, there is suffering. Yes, the world is futile. But hang in there; God is with us. Everything is going to be all right.

Discussion:

I.         Suffering happens

A.      Romans 8:18-25 starts out telling us there is suffering in the present time. Then it talks about the futility we see in this world (see Ecclesiastes). Right now, it is as if we are going through growth pains, groaning as we suffer.

B.     There are numerous kinds of suffering. We obviously think about persecution whenever suffering in a Christian context comes up. However, this is not really about persecution. It is the suffering that is common in a world subjected to futility.

C.     We suffer illness, loss of loved ones, financial turmoil, family troubles. We face betrayals from friends, co-workers, and even brethren. We suffer because things donít always go our way. We suffer because of our own sins. We suffer because of othersí sins. We suffer doubts, fears, resentments. We suffer when brethren donít get along. We suffer when there is trouble in the home, on the job, and even in the church. We suffer when people grumble, complain, nag, and badger us. We suffer when friends leave us, family ignores us, foes attack us. Sometimes it feels like no matter what we do it is the wrong thing. We get frustrated. We get discouraged. We think about giving up. Sometimes we get disgruntled and start looking around to complain. Certainly weíll find plenty to complain about in this life, in our homes, on our jobs, in our schools, even in our churches. We live in a world subjected to futility, do we honestly expect anything to be perfect? The complaining and grumbling simply heightens our discouragement. We need to see things differently. We need to see them as Paul did.

D.     The important part of Romans 8:18 says, ďFor I consider the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.Ē Instead of focusing on the present suffering, Paul focused on the promised glory. We have a sad tendency to get caught up in our sufferings and think that means something is wrong. We think something must be wrong with our relationship with God. We think something must be wrong with us. We think something must be wrong with everyone else. We think somehow everything is going to work out badly. Notice, however, that Paul assumes glory will be revealed to us. Whereas we tend to think suffering means everything is going to be all wrong, Paul assumes itís going to be all right. That was why he could face the suffering. That is why we can be encouraged and encouraging throughout the suffering. We can look forward to something. Everything is going to be all right.

II.       Our hope in the midst of suffering.

A.      Yes, we may go through tough times, but Paul points out it is going to be all right. We have been saved in hope, that is, in an earnest expectation that even through all the trouble we face and the discouragement it causes we know something better is coming.

B.     Paul demonstrates three things we have to look forward to. In Romans 8:21, we know the creation is subject to bondage, but we look forward to freedom and glory. In Romans 8:23, we look forward to an adoption as sons. As we go through the futile sufferings of this world, we feel disconnected. However, we look forward to that eternal connection that cannot be severed (Romans 8:38-39). Also, in Romans 8:23, we look forward to the redemption of our bodies. These bodies that age and grow infirm will be redeemed. They will be bought back and remade into bodies that do not suffer.

C.     Yes, we may suffer, but the suffering is not worthy to be compared with the glory that will be revealed to us and in us. Donít get distracted and discouraged by the futility of this life. Simply remember that despite what is going on right now, everything is going to be all right.

III.      Why can we have this hope?

A.      We can have this hope because we are not alone. We are not by ourselves trying to work everything out to be all right. If we were, then the only recourse would be despair. We canít make everything all right. But we are not alone. In fact, Paul explains everything is going to be all right because each member of the Godhead is working to make it all right.

B.     According to Romans 8:26-27, the Holy Spirit is interceding for us, helping us in our weakness. We are weak. We canít make everything work out all right. We struggle and spin our wheels. We donít even know what to pray for as we ought because of our weaknesses. But we are not alone in our praying. Even when we donít know what to pray, the Spirit intercedes for us in prayer. He offers up groanings too deep for words. We donít even know what to ask God for so everything will be all right, but the Spirit does. Weíre not even praying alone. If the Spirit is interceding for us, everything is going to be all right.

C.     According to Romans 8:34, Jesus is interceding for us. Even though we have sinned and deserve for things to go badly, Jesus died for us to make everything all right. Satan is the accuser of men. He is the one that says we deserve a bad eternity. But Jesus is the one who died for us, who is at the right hand of God, and is interceding for us. No one, not even the great accuser, can separate us from His love. If Jesus is interceding for us, everything is going to be all right.

D.     According to Romans 8:31, God is for us. Who can be against us? In Romans 8:28-30, Paul explains that everything works together for good for those of us who love God. It works together for good because God Himself has predestined that those who love Him will be conformed to the image of His Son. Those He predestined, He called. Those He called, He justified. Those He justified, He glorified. This is all Godís work. We are not doing this on our own. God is working. Then in Romans 8:32 explains to what extent God has gone to make it all right for us. He did not even spare His own Son. If God is for us, everything is going to be all right.

E.     Donít miss this important point. Everything is going to be all right because God, in all three persons, is working to make it all right for us. Letís quit living in the worry of trying to do Godís job. Instead of trying to make everything work out all right, letís just love God, doing His will and let Him make everything all right. When we simply let God do His job, we can rest easy knowing everything is going to be all right.

IV.    We are more than conquerors.

A.      Satan is trying to discourage us through the suffering we face, whether great or small; whether mental, emotional, or physical; whether spiritual or material. But Paul provides us with one more encouragement in Romans 8:37-39. Those of us who are in Christ are more than conquerors. Sometimes it may feel like we are losing. Sometimes it may feel like we canít possibly overcome, but we will win. All we have to do is hang on to Jesus.

B.     Nothing can separate us from the love God has. Nothing can separate us from the interceding love of the Spirit and of Jesus Christ. Nothing can separate us from the conforming love of God. It doesnít matter what anyone else does, weíll not be separated from God. It doesnít matter what the president does, what the economy does, what our brethren do, what the church does, what our family does, nothing can separate us from God and His love. Everything will be all right not because of our power, but because God has said it will be and no one can change that. All we have to do is stay with God. He will make everything all right.

Conclusion:

      I donít know what discouragements and fears you are facing. I donít know what might be causing you to give up on others, on yourself, on God. Understand that suffering is just part of this futile world. But we have a hope, not a wishful thinking kind of hope but an earnest expectation kind of hope. We who love God will win. Keep hanging in there; be encouraged, everything is going to be all right.

 


Glory to God in the church by Christ Jesus
Franklin Church of Christ