Summary: Romans 8:28 is not a spiritual happy pill, but a rather an assurance of God’s love and unfailing grace toward us

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Love Letters Romans 8:28-39

Let movie "Love Letters" run from igniting

When Becky & I were first dating, we used to write letters to each other. Love letters. Pray

Rom 8:28 Almost cliche. often misused. religious ’happy pill.’. Sometimes needed & helpful, often they become crutches. Why? Because peace, respite & euphoria - temporary & fleeting. --I’ll be you’ve seen it; "well, you know, ’all things work together for good...’" fails miserably. Why? just words. don’t provide real relief. Sometimes make us feel guilty about our pain.

Tragedy is not good. It is not good when a child dies, a marriage ends, cancer hits, someone loses a job or have financial crisis. We do people & our faith a disservice when we attempt to nullify real pain & heartache.

Tragedies aren’t good, and this text doesn’t say that they are. What does it affirm? That God can use heartache, tragedy & trial redemptively! Since he is bigger than our hurts and sufferings, he can use them to better us and mold us.

Sometimes I tend to think that God does best work in & thru adversity.:

Screen #5 Bioshpere 2 recreated rain forest, desert, ocean. No wind. The result: trees were pitifully and pathetically weak!. No deep roots They needed adversity.

Dear brothers and sisters, whenever trouble comes your way, let it be an opportunity for joy. For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. James 1:2-3

Note: James doesn’t say joy is found in hardship, but in what hardship produces!

It is a choice.

Think about all he endured when sinful people did such terrible things to him, so that you don’t become weary & give up. After all, you have not yet given your lives in your struggle against sin. And have you entirely forgotten the encouraging words God spoke to you, his children? He said, "My child, don’t ignore it when the Lord disciplines you, & don’t be discouraged when he corrects you. Heb 12:3-5

It’s a choice.

Screen #9 Testimony of someone who has endured much hardship and found a new place in ministry as a "prayer warrior".

Screen #10 "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17God did not send his Son into the world to condemn it, but to save it. John 3:16-17

Screen #11 I command you to love each other in the same way that I love you. 13 And here is how to measure it—the greatest love is shown when people lay down their lives for their friends. John 15:12-13

Screen #12 8But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. Rom 5:8

Screen #13 13There are three things that will endure—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love. 1 Cor 13:13

Screen #14 You know how full of love & kindness our Lord Jesus Christ was. Though he was very rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty he could make you rich. 2 Cor. 8:9

Screen #15 8But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. Romans 5:8

Screen #16 Such love has no fear because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of judgment, and this shows that his love has not been perfected in us. We love each other as a result of his loving us first. 1 John 4:18-19

Screen #17 37No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. 38And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from his love. Death can’t, & life can’t. The angels can’t, & the demons can’t. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, & even the powers of hell can’t keep God’s love away.39Whether we are high above the sky or in the deepest ocean, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. Rom 8:37-39

Screen #18 Let movie "Love Letters" run from igniting

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