Friday, August 5, 2016

An international Sunday school lesson commentary
For Sunday August 7, 2016

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(Safe in GOD’s love)
(Romans 8:18-39)

   The Christian Hope is invincible, because it is founded in GOD. Peace, hope, patience, comfort, and love are the things that men, such as Paul, recognized in GOD. Here in Paul’s letter to the Romans, as it is expressed in chapter 8 verse 19, in his original Greek writings, Paul uses a wonderful word for “earnest expectation” or “hope for the future”. It is “apokaradokia” (a-pock-a-rah-do-KEE-ah), and it describes the attitude of a man, who scans the horizon, with his head thrust forward, as he eagerly anticipates the first signs of the coming of the glory of GOD.
    You see, for Paul, life was not an overbearing and defeated waiting, but rather, it was a throbbing and very vivid expectation. The Christian has always been, is now, and will forever be, a part of the “human experience”. By that I mean, from within, we must all suffer with our own “sin nature”, in the Greek, “epithumia” (ep-i-thoo-mee-ah), that war we wage within ourselves between  “reason” and “passion”. And from the outside, we must all live in a world full of death and decay, as we continue to suffer the consequences of the sins of others.
    But, thanks to GOD, as Christians, we do not just live in the world. As Christians, we also live in JESUS CHRIST. Therefore, we do not see only the world, but we must be able to look beyond this world, to GOD. That way, we do not just see the consequences of ours, and other people’s sin, we’re also able to see the power and mercy of GOD’s love. And so we see that the essence to the Christian Faith must always be hope, and never despair. The true Christian isn’t waiting for death, but rather, we wait for life. The true Christian, just like Paul, must always wait, in “apokaradokia”.
    GOD does not want us to wallow in the troubles and failures of this life. HE wants us to always, through our strength in CHRIST JESUS, be able to look beyond this world to a future with HIM. We need to know that HIS power and love will always be able to overpower all of the worries and issues of this life. And, we can finally come to rest in the thought, that this life is not the final act of the human drama, when we truly have faith, and trust in GOD.
    As Christians, we know that all things work together for good, to those who love GOD (Romans 8:28), but when trouble comes, we’re sometimes hard pressed to remember that. Paul was convinced that nothing could separate him from the love and safety found in GOD (Romans 8:38-39), and we, if we are truly believers, should be convinced of that too. 

    Try to recall a time in your life when GOD has worked out a situation for your good, when you could only see the bad. Then, think of a time when you went ahead and tried to work something out in your own strength, and after failing, realized that you should have prayed first, and then, waited on GOD to work it out, through HIS strength.
    Suffering and hardship does not mean that we’ve been abandoned by GOD, nor are we ever separated from HIS love. No matter what happens to Christians in this life, GOD forever holds us firmly in HIS mighty hands.


    Write down on a piece of paper, what you believe to be currently, your biggest problems. Then go to GOD in prayer over those problems, or situations, and ask GOD to remove them from your life if it be HIS will. And if it’s not HIS will, at that particular time, pray that HE give you the strength to endure in suffering for the faith you have in HIM, that HE will work things out for the greater good, in the end, but either way, those who live in CHRIST are eternally protected from all permanent hurt and harm.

A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander

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