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Homesick for Heaven (19 of 34)
Series: Good News from God
I have two important questions to ask you: (1) Do you want to suffer? (2) Do you want to be miserable? Honestly, however, your answer to the first question is irrelevant. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the truth is you are going to suffer whether you want to or not. You cannot avoid suffering. It is a required course. But, your answer to the second question is critical because you don't have to be miserable in the midst of your suffering. If you allow your attitude and actions to be transformed by God you can avoid misery and self-pity. The choice is up to you.
In Hamlet, Shakespeare said, "Suffering makes cowards of us all." In many respects, he was correct. Suffering can bring any believer to his or her knees. Perhaps you have experienced a devastating divorce. You didn't want your marriage to end, but it did. Now you are overwhelmed with a sense of loneliness and defeat. Maybe you have recently lost a loved one-a spouse, a child, or a parent. You are in the throes of grief and loss and possibly even angry with God. Perhaps you've recently lost your job. All that you ever wanted was to provide for your family and now that's been taken away from you, and there are no jobs on the horizon. Such sufferings may cause you to wonder if you can even go on. The daily grind of life is filled with seemingly unbearable suffering. It can be excruciating!
However, I have some good news. In Romans 8:18-30, Paul argues that your perspective can change how you endure suffering. In fact, with the proper perspective you can transition from being miserable to being joyful. Paul's words can be summarized in this statement: A future focus affects present perseverance. In these thirteen verses, the apostle shares two hope-filled truths: (1) We have a glorious expectation (8:18-25), and (2) we have a glorious assurance (8:26-30).
1. We have a glorious expectation (8:18-25 ...
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