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Christian Devotional by Pastor Cecil Thompson

Cecil Thompson

Romans 8:18, 21, 25-26

"I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. - - the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express."

I love kids! I guess it may be that I am still one at heart. Kids are open and candid. They say and do things that adults would never do. They are vulnerable and often seem to be too trusting. I react very strongly when I hear about one of these little ones who has been abused. Over the years I have felt compelled to protect the little ones who are in peril.

It reminds me of a time when I was waiting for my wife, Joyce, to get off work as a Legislative Aide in the Washington State House of Representatives. A young woman who answered phones in Joyce's building walked out. I happened to notice a man across the parking lot watching her. As she left the area to go to her car, he started his vehicle and drove slowly behind her. Immediately I started my car and sped to follow closely behind him. Seeing me in his rear view mirror, he suddenly turned a corner and disappeared. I waited until Heather had started her car and drove away.

When Joyce told her about it, she was dumbfounded. She had no idea that she may have been in jeopardy or that someone had been aware of her need for protection. Spiritually we are equally vulnerable. We may think we know what we need and how to pray---but we don't! So what are we to do?

The book of Romans is full of deep spiritual truth and today's Scripture is particularly filled with deep meaning. The idea I would hope to get across today, is that we are all like babies when it comes to knowing the things of God. I think one of the reasons is that the Word of God is "living." It is energized by the Spirit of God and impacts us in different ways each time we read it. At the same time, there are some fundamental things about God that are explained to us.

1. We are told our present sufferings are to be balanced by our view of eternity. It does not end here! This is just the preliminary that qualifies us for the main event. The pain and distress of this life is nothing when we think of what is waiting for us in eternity.

Now this does not mean that we cannot pray for a healing touch on this side of eternity, but we must keep in mind that healing is only temporary. Jesus healed the blind, crippled, deaf, cast out demons and even raised Lazarus from the dead; but all eventually died. The healing was for the purpose of increasing the faith of the people, and also to confirm He was the Messiah.

Do we pray for healing? You had better believe it! But above all else, we must remember that He, our precious Lord, is the One who is in control.

I remember attending a pastor's conference when a speaker told of his experience in praying for healing. Every time he prayed for someone to be healed, they died soon after. Finally he was called by a family to come and pray with their loved one that he not suffer any longer and that he might die quickly. He was elated! That was what had happened to all those he had prayed for. He now looked to heaven and prayed for God to take this dear man home to be with Him. Instead of dying, he recovered and went home to live for several more years.

He shared that God taught him a valuable lesson. He, the Lord, was in control and we have to learn to be in harmony with His will and purposes. I firmly believe that it is not God's will that every one be healed. If that were so, we would have quite a few people around that were over a thousand years old. There are none!

2. The Scripture also teaches that we can find comfort from pain and suffering when we are set free by going into His presence. You may recall that as the Apostle Stephen was being stoned, (think about what pain he was enduring as stone after stone struck his vulnerable flesh), he was not focusing on the pain of the blows from the stones, but on seeing the Lord above. We are told in the last few verses of Acts seven, that he prayed for the Lord to forgive those who were killing him, AND THEN HE FELL ASLEEP! He was looking above and seeing what was beyond. That is what we are to do.

3. This passage also teaches that we do not know how to pray. The Lord knows that, so He sends the Holy Spirit to intercede (pray) for us with groans that words cannot utter. Do not try to make the groaning sounds yourself. It is the Holy Spirit, knowing our weakness, who groans for us. That is worth your pausing and spending some time in meditation. Never feel that you are alone. Let the power of the Spirit of God do what you and I and every other human on the face of this earth will never be able to do - - - intercede in our behalf.

Whatever you might be going through at this time in your life, turn it over to the God who loves you and has prepared a place for you. What love that He has extended toward us! Through your pain, confusion and failure let Him be the Lord of all.

Blessings dear hearts. Walk with God today. Trust Him completely and be a blessing.

--- Pastor Cecil


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