Summary: Even in the midst of trials and difficult circumstances, God keeps His promises. His promise of assurance, experiences of life, and a wonderful plan for believers is important to all of us in our Christian growth.
Promises You Can Count On
Sept 17, 2001 (After World Trade Center Collapsed)
God uses trials and sufferings in our lives to help us grow and mature as Christians
If we can grasp that truth, we will face the trials of our life with a whole new outlook
Romans 8:28-31 meets us where we live
It gives us several promises that raise our hopes and guarantees us that God has a plan for each of His children.
Sometimes we may be overwhelmed with difficulties
We may even think that God has forgotten us
But in this passage, we find promises that can claim hope and find peace.
Illust: Remember the life of Joseph in Genesis - God uses trials and sufferings in our lives to help us get to where He wants us to be.
Trials and sufferings are not just a tool to be used of God, but they help us to grow in Christ.
I. A Promise That Brings Assurance
1. "And We Know" - God wants to replace your uncertainty with faith.
A. "We Know" is used 5 times in Romans and the word "Know" is used 13 times.
B. It refers to what we, as Christians, should already know or be aware of: common knowledge
Illust: Nobody has to tell me how sweet sugar is. I know how sweet it is.
C. I can say today that "I know" that God loves me.
2. If you are not certain about whether or not God loves you, He wants to replace your uncertainty with faith.
A. The person who isn’t saved is uncertain about life:
a. Doesn’t know why he is here
b. Doesn’t know how life began
c. Doesn’t know what life is all about
d. Doesn’t know where he will be after he/she dies
B. Faith in Christ trades uncertainty for assurance.
C. Paul says (2 Tim 1:12) "I know whom I have believed"
D. I John 5:13 These things are written that ye might know that you have eternal life
3. No matter how difficult life may seem, or how sometimes life hits us between the eyes, God gives us the assurance that He is able to take care of our lives.
II. A Promise for ALL The Experiences of Life
1. For the person who loves God and is interested in growing spiritually, "all things work together for good."
A. What is the "good" He is talking about? He’s talking about the "end result.""
B. Some of our experience in life are extremely hard to bear.
a. Things that may shake us and break us down to the very fiber of our being.
Illust: The WTC tragedy
b. There are experiences that sometimes we just don’t understand.
2. How can God bring good out of these kinds of difficult circumstances?
A. Remember Moses who was a fugitive who became a deliverer?
B. Remember Joseph who was sold by his own brothers? He became 2nd in command.
C. Fanny Crosby: was blind but wrote so many great songs of the faith & ministered to millions.
3. Sometimes we have a hard time seeing the "good" because we don’t stop to look from God’s perspective.
A. What happened this week could be the turning point for America.
B. He could use the experiences of this weeks tragedy to bring America back to Christ.
C. Sometimes God uses adversity to help us to mature.
D. If we forget this, we could blame God for what took place and become bitter.
E. We can’t blame God for something that He didn’t do.
F. But we can depend on God to clean up the messes after we cause them.
III. A Promise About A Wonderful Plan for Believers
1. "To them that love God" this begins with God’s love for us.
(Rom 5:8) but God commanded His love toward us that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.
2. This is the fraternal pin of Christian people
A. Love is the mark that children of God live by.
Love is the badge that we hang on our heart to care for those around us.
We can hate the sin but not the sinner
Read 1 John 4:10-17
B. If we are ever afraid of this world, or the future, or eternity, we can remind ourselves of God’s perfect love.
B. Nothing sinful or evil can exist in God’s presence. He is absolute goodness. God is love!
C. We should also look at terrible situations with the same kind of love
Illust: During the San Francisco earthquake, a Christian girl walked out into the scene of destruction and debris and actually smiled. A friend asked her, "how can you smile at a time like this?" Her reply was "I rejoice that I have a God who can shake the world!"