Summary: Wisdom, Help, Peace, Prayer
Romans 8:26-27 (p. 787) January 26, 2014
Have you ever heard this quote...”If you want to make God laugh...tell Him your plans!”
I think that’s what James meant when he said, “Now listen you who say we’ll go here and we’ll do that...we’ll carry on business and make money. Why you don’t even know what will happen tomorrow...Instead you ought to say, “If it’s the Lord’s will we will live and do this or that.” (James 4:13, 15).
Folks, most of the time we’re not really interested in God’s will. What we’re interested in is telling God what we’ve got planned and have Him put His stamp of approval on it!!!
What we have here is “failure to communicate.” (Cool Hand Luke accent)
Because we’re sinful by nature and we live in body’s of flesh. Paul says, “Jars of clay.” We want comfort...we want happiness...we want to feel good...we want to satisfy our body’s desire for ease and self.
But God has something different in mind, especially for His people. A plan that overrides our comfort and our ease...a plan that is more important than any of our desires. It’s the plan to conform His born again Spirit adopted children into the likeness of His only begotten perfect Son, Jesus.
Guess how he does that? Paul knew, and it wasn’t much fun. “Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me (a thorn on his flesh). But He (God) said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weakness, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” (2 Corinthians 12:8-9)
Weakness is the laboratory where God mixes His power and His grace into our lives. That’s why this promise for God’s children is such good news in a bad news world.
I. THE HOLY SPIRIT HELPS US IN OUR WEAKNESS
Romans 8:26 starts off “In the same way...”
“In the same way the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness.”
In the same way as “what?”
Well, to answer that question you have to go back a little in Romans chapter 8 and read the proceeding verses...Let’s read together.
ROMANS 8:18-25 (p. 787)
The Holy Spirit helps us deal with the waiting period. He helps us deal with the struggles and sufferings and confusion in the period between salvation and complete redemption.
Romans 8:18 says “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”
Suffering is the result of sin, sometimes ours, sometimes others, all creation is fallen. Sin ravaged because of someone else’s sin, Adam and Eve’s.
If you live in this fallen world, the results of sin will cause you to suffer. You’re lonely because your mate died. Your physical body aches, hurts, cramps because it’s temporary. Your children or grandchildren are rebellious, and you hurt emotionally because you cannot fix them. Or, maybe you are involved in sin. Adultery, gossip, cheating, pornography and the direct result of sin is “separation” from God, and sometimes separation from others...suffering.
Weakness...Here’s an important truth, every one of us are sinners and we are either sinners who allow God to deal with our weaknesses, and live lives that are genuine and real so others can help us deal with our weaknesses. Or, we pretend to be super law obeyers. We pretend our weaknesses aren’t really that bad. Mostly by pointing out the weaknesses of others.
Christians are children of God because they are born again, adopted by God through His Holy Spirit. Listen to a few verses that proceed our text:
ROMANS 8:14-17 (p. 787)
There is a very real transformation in salvation. And, there is a very real assurance that you are God’s child, not only His child, but His heir. “If indeed we share in the suffering in order that we may also share in His glory.”
The Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness, our struggle, our sin, our waiting period until our inheritance is revealed “IN US.”
II. THREE WAYS THE HOLY SPIRIT HELPS
1. He intercedes
2. He searches and
3. He reveals God’s will
Our text says, “We don’t know what we ought to pray for.” That is a blanket statement, written by the greatest missionary ever, the author of 2/3s of the New Testament, an Apostle named Paul, saved miraculously by Jesus while persecuting the Church. He says, “we,” me and you” don’t know what to pray for.
Paul knew the phrase, “If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans.”
Paul creates a team, on the back of our uniforms aren’t individual names but H.E.I.R.S. It’s also on the back of the Apostle Paul’s uniform. The Church, big “C” is the “we” Paul mentions who don’t know how to pray. By the way, everyone on this born again, Spirit filled team suffers in one way or another. Even creation suffers, like a woman in childbirth. [The only time I really believed Kari would kill me was in childbirth, after 19 ½ hours of pain and contractions. We were breathing together. I was the coach, and Kari was breathing in a way that made me laugh. She reached up, grabbed me by the throat and said, “If you laugh at me again, I will kill you.]