Have you ever felt somewhat alone as you lived out your faith? Does it ever feel like you're part of a small subset of people who actually trust in Jesus and seek to be obedient to His teaching? If you feel that way, you're not the first one to experience these emotions. This feeling is somewhat common, and many of us will experience seasons when this feels all too real.
But the truth of the matter is that God's plan is much bigger in scope than we often realize. We can see the small part of the parade that's directly in front of us, but from His perspective, He can see the beginning, middle, and end all at the same time. And while there are plenty of people who will never come to faith in Christ, there are some who will. In fact, there are more who will trust in Jesus than we may initially realize, and that's a subject Paul addresses in Romans 11:1-6.
Have you ever wanted to tell someone about the hope they can have in Jesus, but you've shied away from doing so because you feared receiving a negative response from them? Have you ever worried if others will think you're weird, crazy, or fanatical?
There are things we all crave in life, but our hearts were designed to only be truly satisfied through a relationship with Jesus Christ. Every other desire we experience is secondary in importance, yet sometimes, we treat our secondary desires like they're primary desires.
God has desires as well, and we can see what He desires by what He reveals in His word, and through the actions He has taken to intervene throughout the course of human history. Since God has desires and we have desires, it's worth asking the question, "What would it look like if my desires started to align with God's desires?"
I think most of us have an abiding curiosity about God and His plans. Why does He do what He does? Why does He do what He does in the way He does it? What will He be doing next and how will it impact me? Are these the kind of questions you find yourself asking God? Is there something you've never asked Him that you'd like to learn more about?
We all want to be accepted, but there are very few relationships we may ever experience that show us unconditional acceptance. That isn't how people typically operate. I learned very early in life that many people in this world accept you right up to the point when you stop giving them something or stop doing something for them.
But thankfully, that's not how the acceptance of God works. His acceptance of you and me is not linked to what we can give Him or do for Him. Rather, His acceptance of us is forever tied to what He did on our behalf, and what He gave us through His Son, Jesus Christ.
One of the messages that God goes to great lengths to communicate is that He loves His children. Regardless of what your past history or present day struggles might look like, this is a truth that He wants you to understand and embrace. Knowing you're loved makes a big difference in your life. It impacts your perspective toward your circumstances, your relationships, and your eventual future. It also impacts the way you relate to God Himself. Romans 8:31-39 demonstrates the depth of God's love for His children with the goal of thoroughly convincing our hearts of this truth.
There's a form of groaning that we're all doing right now that might feel uncomfortable or exhausting at times. It's a groaning that shows that we're longing for something better than what we've already experienced. And we're not the only ones who are groaning. The entire creation groans along with us, waiting for restoration. The good news is that while we may be groaning now, we won't groan forever. God has good things in store for us and Romans 8:18-30 speaks about that greater glory that He has in store for those who trust Him.
Unhealthy fear isn’t something you want to welcome into your life. At times, it takes the form of insecurity and willful ignorance. Unhealthy fear exists when we believe circumstances are out of control and we're reasonably certain there's a good chance things won't be working out in our favor. Maybe you're afraid of someone who has the capacity to harm you. Or maybe you fear experiencing circumstances that resemble painful events from your past. Maybe you're living in fear right now because you aren't confident about what's in store for your future. But fear can be overcome. Here’s how.
The longer we walk with Jesus, the less we resemble the person we once were. The longer we walk with Him, the more distant we start to feel from the life we once lived. In Christ, we have been blessed with a brand-new life, and there are aspects of this new life that we are invited to gain a better understand of through looking at His word.
Romans 8:1-11 gives us a snapshot of the new life we have in Christ. It's a life that isn't being led by the priorities of this world or passions of our old nature. Our new life is a life that's being led by the Holy Spirit.