January 27th – In the mean time
Today’s Scripture Reading: Romans 8:26-39
While Paul had his eyes on the future glory that would come when he was united with Christ, he was not insensitive to the difficulty that comes with living in a fallen world. It doesn’t take much for us to be reminded of the depravity in which we have to live. Just in the last 12 months we’ve watched as the news networks reported shootings, abuse of children, sex trafficking, and war. Embracing and Enduring suffering is not about putting our heads in the sand to pretend everything is OK.
Throughout the scripture God’s mighty men and women, including Paul, had seasons of weakness and trial where they were desperate for help. You and I will face, and may be facing today the trials of our lifetime. How do we endure? How do we persevere?
Not alone. “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness.” When we enter into the family of God as adopted sons and daughters, one of the great benefits is the gift of the Holy Spirit. No more do we have to face life alone. No more are we left single-handed to fight sin and the enemy. We have one in us who will fight for us. Even when we get to the lowest of low – to that point when you don’t even know how to pray. “For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.” – Romans 8:26
It is as if Paul knew we would need further evidence, or a greater assurance of God’s sovereign provision in times of great temptation or suffering. So, through the inspiration of God he gave us these profound words to secure our faith in the goodness of God:
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”
In his providence, God orchestrates every event in life – even suffering, temptation, and sin – to accomplish both our temporal and eternal benefit. Right this very moment God is shaping you to be in the image of His Son, Jesus Christ.
This is our goal, this is our purpose, this is our prize. Hang in there. Life can be hard. The joy that comes in the morning can seem so distant. Waiting on God can be excruciating. In the meantime remember you have the Holy Spirit in you, and He will help you, especially in your times of weakness.
Prayer Focus: Let the Holy Spirit guide you as you pray today. Pray in the Spirit, meaning ask Him to bring to mind that which you should pray for. Rest today in God’s unfailing love for you.