Summary: Since we have better things waiting for us, we can have freedom from discouragement in Christ
• How many of you have been discouraged about something in the last week?
• How many of you loved to be discouraged?
• Discouragement can be something that can stop us in our tracks. Many of us have experienced the pits of discouragement from broken dreams, unfulfilled promises, failing health, and financial crisis among many other things.
• There are so many things that happen in life that seem to let the air out of our balloons.
• What is it that keeps a person going while they are in the throws of discouraging circumstances?
• It is so easy to get fixated on our circumstances that we loose sight of the fact that our circumstances are not permanent.
• Have you ever heard the statement, “You cannot see the forest for all the trees?”
• It is so easy for us the loose sight of things in life when we are standing in the midst of discouraging times.
• Today, I hope that when things do not seem to be going well, that we will be able to see the forest, that we will be able to see the big picture.
• Last week I we started looking at some of the freedoms we have in Christ. When we ask people to give their lives to Jesus, they are going to want to know what is in it for them. Last week we learned that one of the freedoms we have in Christ is the freedom from condemnation.
• This week we are going to start a three part mini-series on the subject of Freedom from Discouragement.
• God does not want us to be discouraged by bad circumstances that happen in our life. He wants us to know that better things are coming!
I. THE PRESENT SUFFERINGS WE DEAL WITH (18) (READ)
• When we look at this passage it helps us to remember how difficult it was for the early Christians. Paul was not just discounting the difficult times the people were facing.
• Life in general was not easy, but for many it became more difficult for a person when they became a Christian.
• Life of Paul was much more difficult when he gave his life to serve Jesus.
• I know when we are going through difficult times; it is easy to think our problem is the worst thing that could happen to a person.
• The word “suffering” deals with any evil, afflictions, misfortunes, calamities, persecutions, or sicknesses. If more or less covers anything bad that can happen to a person.
• One would think when we give our lives to Jesus, that God would protect us from any bad things happening to us to us.
• When Paul tells us the sufferings of this present time are not “worthy” he is saying when you put all the suffering we face on one side of the scales and glory that is waiting for us on the other side, there is not comparison. The glory awaiting us is so much greater!
• The glory spoken of is the time when Jesus returns and we are raised again
• Suffering has been happening every since the fall of man. Why?
• Here are six quick thoughts that Gareth Reese includes in the footnotes of his Romans commentary. (footnote 106 p. 312)
1. All of creation was subjected to futility when Adam sinned. Adams sin has caused some of the suffering we face. (Things run down)
2. Some suffering is a result of our own sins and faults which necessitate chastisement. (Hebrews 12:4-11)
3. Some suffering is a result of the sin of others. (Drunk driver hitting you)
4. Some suffering happens for the glory of God. (John 9:3)
5. Some suffering is for the temporal punishment for sin that by God’s design automatically accompanies or results from the sin. (Romans 8:17) (Waste your money and suffer the consequences)
6. If a person is in Christ, they will face suffering.
II. AN EXPLANATION OF THE GLORY AWAITING US (19-21)
• In verses 19-21 we are given an explanation of the awaiting glory.
• In theses verses Paul gives human feelings and emotions to creation for illustration purposes.
• The creation Paul is speaking of is the whole world of nature in this context.
• He says that all of creation is longing for and waiting eagerly for the return of Jesus at which time a restoration will take place and the sons of God will be revealed. (Revelation 21:11; 2 Peter 3:10-13; Isaiah 66:22)
• When the Lord returns, not only will mankind benefit, but the curse put upon nature will be lifted also.
• GENESIS 3:17-18 says, “Then to Adam He said, "Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, ’You shall not eat from it’; Cursed is the ground because of you; In toil you will eat of it All the days of your life. "Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you; And you will eat the plants of the field;