NT Fire Starters – Day 216: Romans 8:18-39
READ: Romans 8:18-39
THINK: Too many people have adopted a “victim mentality,” which leads to a lot of excuses for irresponsible behavior and a sense that other people owe them something. While there are legitimate victims in any society, Jesus’ followers never have to view life from that perspective. Regardless of what happens to them, they are overcomers. Nothing can rob them of their joy and ultimate reward. Rather than victims who are worried about what others can do for them, Christians are victors who are free to focus on what they can do for others.
RESPOND: What “sufferings” do we experience as humans and as followers of Jesus? (See 8:18 note.) What perspective should Christians have regarding these troubles and why? How has creation been affected by human sin and how will it ultimately be affected by God’s glory? (See 8:22 note.) Why do Jesus’ followers “groan inwardly”? (See 8:23 note.) How does the Spirit help our weaknesses? (See 8:26 first note.) What does it mean that “the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that cannot be expressed”? (See 8:26 second note.) If you love God and pursue His purposes, what assurance do you have through tough times? (See 8:28 note.) What does it mean that God “foreknew” us and “predestined [those he foreknew] to be conformed to the likeness of His Son”? (See 8:29 note and article on Election and Predestination, p. 1706.) What are those who have chosen to follow Christ “called” (v. 30) to do in regard to those who do not yet know Jesus? How do you feel about the fact that God is for you (v. 31ff) and Jesus “is also interceding for us” (v. 34)? What can separate you from God’s love? (See 8:35-39 note.) Why can you take comfort through trouble and hard times? (See 8:36 note.) What does it mean that “in all these things we are more than conquerors”? (See 8:37 note.) What’s the only way to experience the fullness of God’s love? (See 8:39 note.)
PRAY: Thank Jesus for the fact that no trouble or suffering in this life can compare to what He has in store for you in eternity. Thank Him that these things help you rely more on Him and that He’s given you ultimate victory through it all.
ACT: Consider any trouble, hardship or suffering that you currently face. Knowing that you have God’s love and strength to help you through it all, ask Him to show you how to turn these situations for good. Perhaps a certain difficulty will cause you to rely on God more and to give greater attention to time in prayer. A good attitude through tough times can inspire others and may lead to opportunities to talk about your faith. Your personal experience may even enable you to help someone else who is going through a similar hardship.