Encouragement to the Romans

Google produces a list of scriptural passages when you ask, “Which 10 encouraging bible verses do I need to read each day?” The seventh passage on that list is Romans 8:28, 29. Today’s Daily Bread email message very briefly explains that the Apostle Paul, in those verses, provided encouragement and hope to Christian believers.

Hope is a Gift. The wonderful result of hope is delivered by the Holy Spirit of God. He gives us the power to hope and that gift is a demonstration of God’s love for us. Hope given by Him works together to give us confidence, joy, peace, power, and love.

Romans 8:18–30 talks about the participation of Christians in the everyday suffering. We all groan together as a woman in labor while we wait for God to reveal His children. As His children, we are waiting for the Father to complete our adoption by redeeming our bodies so that we can be with Him. God’s Spirit helps us during the waiting by taking our unformed prayers to God. We trust that God uses every circumstance in our lives for His purposes and that He has chosen us long ago to be His children.

Romans 8:27 is a conclusion to verse 26, dealing with the believer’s inadequacy in praying within the will of God. Paul advised us that “he who searches our hearts (God) knows the mind of the Spirit,” because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.

To search the heart is one of God’s attributes that cannot be communicated to a creature. (Jeremiah 17:10).

“He that searches the hearts” refers, here to God the Father. But, more noteworthy is that the same words are used of the Son (Revelation 2:23). “The hearts” here are human hearts. In them the Father sees, below the surface of “ignorance what to pray for as they ought,” the sacred longings which are the expression of the Spirit’s influence.

Paul revealed that the life of a Christian on this side of eternity is one of waiting and longing to be with our God while enduring the suffering of this life. We live with a kind of endless groaning to be made whole by the redemption of our bodies.

We are not alone, however. God gives His Spirit to everyone who trusts in Christ (Ephesians 1:13, 14; 2 Corinthians 1:22).

The Lord Jesus intercedes for us in heaven and the Holy Spirit intercedes for us by His indwelling presence.

Romans 8:27

There are two kinds of intercession available to the believer:

  • The intercession of Christ on our behalf (Hebrews 7:25).
  • The intercession of the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:26, 27)

The Father and the Spirit are eternally connected. The Father in heaven knows the mind of His Spirit in us. Their connection remains ever unbroken.

God knows the desires which the Holy Spirit excites and produces in the heart. He does not need those deep emotions to be expressed in words. He does not need the eloquence of language to induce Him to hear, but He sees the anxious feelings of the soul and is ready to aid and to bless.

One way the Spirit helps us in our weakness is by taking our too-deep-for-words groanings and communicating them to the Father as prayers. The Spirit intercedes for us. The Holy Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the Father’s will.

Then Paul explains how God receives those prayers. Paul uses a description of God which is both beautiful and perhaps intimidating. Here, he calls God the Father the “one who searches hearts” (Hebrews 4:12–13). The Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart (1 Samuel 16:7).” (Psalm 44:21, Psalm 139:1-2, 23)

The Spirit then forms our unspoken groanings toward God into prayers that conform to God’s will. Thus, God, ever in search mode, receives those prayers directly from our hearts. In this way, even in our waiting to be with God in person, we are in potentially constant communication with Him.

No matter how dissatisfied we are with our prayer life, we can take comfort in the idea that the Spirit makes up for our lack of proper content in our prayers.

This does not mean we don’t need to pray to God with words. We still need to make an effort to think about what we will say to God before we say it. Intentional prayerfulness is essential for those who are in Christ. This does mean, however, that we don’t need to be overly anxious that we’re “praying wrong.” Because the Spirit is interceding for us to the Father and within His will, we are free to talk to God as little children talk to their fathers. We don’t need special language or systems to be sure He is receiving what we’re saying. He understands, even better than we do.

The principle is the Holy Spirit compensates for the believer’s ignorance of the will of God in prayer.

God’s help is an enduring promise; He has the ability to work all things for good and to see us through to glorification.  We must face the sufferings of this present time (Romans 8:18). But, God is able to even make those sufferings work together for our good and His good.  He works them for good together, not in isolation. This promise is for those who love God in the Biblical understanding of love, and God manages the affairs of our lives because we are called according to His purpose.

Paul is saying that God is the author of our salvation, from beginning to end. We are not to think that God can take action only when we graciously give him permission.

Romans 8:28

The message in Romans 8:28 is to not fret, but to know, and be confident that all things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose.

Romans 8:28

In every detail of your life, God is at work. “All things” includes even our mistakes. God will take even your errors and work them out for your good. He reigns.

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Consider the Daily Bread email message sent on 8/23/2023 which says,

Google produces a list of Galatians passages when you ask, “Which 10 encouraging bible verses do I need to read each day?” The seventh passage on that list is Romans 8:28, 29. Today’s Daily Bread email message very briefly explains that the Apostle Paul, in those verses, provided encouragement in the hope of Christian believers.

Romans 8:27, 28

Romans 8:27, 28 – and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. (NASB)

Through the Holy Spirit which dwells within us, God can search our hearts and we can know that God causes all things to work together for our eternal good.

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