Summary: WE do not have to live in discouragement because God has a plan!
• SLIDE #1
• Mark Smith in an article in the June 2000 Readers Digest said the following: Like many high school seniors, my son was filling out college-scholarship applications. One form asked for extracurricular activities. He answered: “wrestling.” The next question requested positions held. He entered: “pinned, mostly.” --Mark Smith, Readers Digest Jun00 (http://www.irsweb.com/)
• I will tell you; sometimes life can really wear on you. Some many things can happen that can cause a lot of discouragement.
• Sometimes even when things are seemingly going well, there always seems to be someone out there whose mission is to discourage you. By the way, discouragement is not a fruit of the Spirit.
• Have you felt the world caving in on you? You get that helpless feeling that is followed by discouragement.
• Have you thought if I could just get a break, it will be ok?
• Today we are going to see that in Christ we do not have to become prisoners of discouragement. God has done some things to help us; He has plans to help us during the times of discouragement.
• God had done and is doing some awesome things for us so that we do not have to feel like we have to live a discouraged life!
• Today’s passage is exciting to look at.
• Let’s begin in Romans 8:26-27
• SLIDE #2
• Romans 8:26–27 (ESV) 26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. 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. 27 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
• SLIDE #3
You can enjoy freedom from discouragement because…
I. God has provided a 911 line for you.
• In the message last week we looked at how hope can sustain us. Verse 26 starts out with the word “LIKEWISE” is comparing the way hope can sustain us in the midst of our present suffering to how the Spirit can sustain us by personally aiding us in our weakness.
• We are told the Spirit (Holy Spirit) helps our weakness. In the context of the chapter we have read (8:20-21), weakness most likely refers to the problems that are a result of the futility and slavery to corruption the world is marred with at this present time.
• Most of the difficulties we face are a result of the fallen world we live in.
• So many times we feel isolated and alone when we are facing bad things. We feel powerless, helpless, and a sense of impending doom.
• Christians are free from the slavery of discouragement because of the hope we have within us and because we have a friend who will be with us every step of the way.
• The word “help” is a word that means; “to take hold of anything with another”, “to give assistance by sharing a burden” or to “come to the aid of.”
• When we are facing difficult times, the Christian is not alone; the Holy Spirit comes along side of us to help lift the burden.
• The holy Spirit is there to help empower of spirit during those times of discouragement, those times when we are at such a loss we do not even know what kind of prayer to lift up to God.
• Verses 26-27 explain to us how the Spirit helps us.
• You do not have to feel alone because you are not. That feeling of isolation can be one of the most discouraging parts of going through tough times.
• In verse 26 we are told that part of the help in lifting burdens comes in the form of prayer help.
• Have you ever been hurting so bad that you just did not know what to ask God for? Have you ever been so down that you could not put into words what was in your heart?
• Sometimes the discouragement of the moment keeps us from seeing God’s perspective.
• Since there are times in which we do not know what to pray for, the Holy Spirit comes along side of us and helps us. It can be frustrating to not be able to put into words what we need.
• The Holy Spirit intercedes for us. He takes what is in our heart and lifts that to God.
• The word intercede is a word that indicates a continual action, a habitual action. This word is used nowhere else in the New Testament, although its roots are used.
• The word means to “turn to”, “to approach, appeal, petition someone on behalf of another.