27 The one who searches hearts knows how the Spirit thinks, because he pleads for the saints, consistent with God’s will. 28 We know that God works all things together for good for the ones who love God, for those who are called according to his purpose. 29 We know this because God knew them in advance, and he decided in advance that they would be conformed to the image of his Son. That way his Son would be the first of many brothers and sisters. 30 Those who God decided in advance would be conformed to his Son, he also called. Those whom he called, he also made righteous. Those whom he made righteous, he also glorified.
I have to confess that when I read Paul’s letter to the Romans I feel like I’m mining for precious nuggets of truth. I know they’re in there, but it takes some work on my part to find them, unearth them and then to understand them. At first reading I think, “Wait, what is Paul saying?” Then I read again, check my Bible footnotes, and think, “Oh, that’s what Paul means.” Then I read a few Bible commentaries and think, “That’s what Paul really means!” Then I get to discuss the Bible in a small group and really get to go deeper about what it means to live the word and follow Jesus. Under-standing the Word is the beginning of living out the Word in our lives. Don’t give up when reading Paul, his writings are full of God’s Promises.
These verses in Romans are full of God’s promises. The gift of our salvation through Jesus and the promise of eternal life is just the beginning of our journey. First, God says the Holy Spirit is pleading for us, so that our prayers and actions will be consistent with God’s will, not our will. As humans, we often have our own agendas, and God’s will may not be the priority on our lists. God’s will for God’s children is that we become like Jesus, so God has given us the Holy Spirit, our advocate, to be within us, always at work transforming us.
The next promise says that God works all things together for good for the ones who love God, according to God’s purpose. God’s purpose is that we become like Jesus. If we look at our world situation today, we struggle with this promise. Many of us are struggling with illness, family situations, financial and emotional issues. We don’t see how suffering works for our good. We feel alone. But God is with you in every situation. There is suffering in this world and it matters to God and God is there for us to trust and lean on. Jesus loved and trusted God, He knew suffering and was not overcome by death, but raised to new life. This is our promise both now and after death. God’s love will never abandon you, it will transform you to be like Jesus so that we may bring glory to God.
By Jeneene Reduker
For Pondering & Prayer
Before God created the universe, God loved us and planned for us to grow in holiness to be like Jesus. How can we make this the priority on our prayer lists? In the midst of our daily lives and struggles, let’s pray that we can trust in God’s promises to transform us and bring us to new life.
Prayer: Holy and loving God, we want to become like Jesus, but our lives are filled with difficulties, we ask to feel your presence and guidance. We confess your will is not at the top of our prayer lists, but we put our trust in you, to transform us and bring us to new life for your glory. Amen.