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REFLECT

Few expressions are more comforting than the phrase, “It’s all good.” What a great thought, right? The only problem is, so often our life circumstances show us an alternate reality — that everything is definitely not good. One of the beautiful things about Jesus, though, is he flips all our normal human logic on its head. Although his plans are usually different from ours, they are infinitely better…and in Jesus’s plans for his followers, everything is truly all good. Join us this Sunday as we remind each other of God’s promise to make everything good, in ways we can’t even imagine yet.

REALIZE

1.  The Spirit is at work.

Romans 8:26-27
Leader Notes

  • Things almost never go the way we want them to go in life…but Jesus is Lord of all, and he works even in the midst of the messes of our lives. And his Spirit is at work in our lives all the time, even when we can’t see how he is working.
  • Sometimes it feels like God has paused his work in our lives, but that’s actually not true. It’s not like we ask God for help, and he helps you initially but then decides he’s had enough. The Spirit dwells within followers of Jesus, and he is an ever-present helper for us.
  • In these verses we learn five things about how the Spirit works in our lives: The Spirit helps us, makes intercession for us, groans alongside us, the Spirit has his own mind toward God’s purposes and plans, and the Spirit lines up our lives with the will of God.
  • When the Bible says the Spirit “intercedes” for us, that means he bears our burdens and needs in prayer…the Spirit of God prays for us! He’s standing in the gap for us in the midst of our messiest situations.
  • One of the coolest things about how the Spirit prays for us is the Spirit’s mind is linked up with God and his thoughts. So the Spirit intercedes for us in accordance with God’s best for us!

In what area of your life do you need to trust that God is at work even if you aren’t sure what he’s doing?

2. When God says it is all good, it is.

Romans 8:28
Leader Notes

  • We don’t just hope God works all things together for our good – we know he does. And it’s not just some things – it’s all things.
  • Now, some things in life are not good. But God can harmonize all things to bring forth his good plan in our lives. God’s plan is to make us more like Jesus.
  • Right now, if what you’re dealing with doesn’t make a lot of sense, you know you’re in the middle chapters. What God is up to we don’t even necessarily understand yet. We often don’t know what God is up to, but we know his plans are good. And more than good! His purposes for our lives are better than anything we could ever imagine for ourselves.
  • In the things we’re worked up about, the things that consume our thoughts, are we looking at them from the perspective that God is working all things together for good?
  • God’s ultimate goal is not to fulfill our five year plan or give us everything we want. His ultimate goal is to conform us to the image of His Son…That should be our goal as well. All things are being harmonized together by God to make us more like Jesus. Instead of resisting and fighting God’s work in our lives, maybe we need to ask, “God, how are you trying to make me more like Jesus right now?”
  • The good news for us is, the grounding for God working all things together for good is not based on our ability to love God. All things work together for good for anyone called according to God’s purposes. It’s all about God calling us, not our love for him. God isn’t asking us to love him more, but simply to respond to his abundant love for us.
  • God can only love you more, not less. God is not withholding his love from you. God’s love for you is the one stable, permanent, fixed reality of your life.

What does it mean that God loves you, and how can you, in the details of your life, respond to his love?

3. God’s plan is perfectly designed.

Romans 8:29-30
Leader Notes

  • God didn’t just know about us before the foundations of the earth – God knew us intimately, in all our intricacies and details, before we ever came to be. Before we were even a thought to our parents, God had our destinies in mind. His destiny for us is that we be conformed to the image of Jesus.
  • If you’re a follower of Jesus, you’re in the middle of your story. But there’s not one flaw in God’s plan for any of us.
  • Even though we can’t see everything God is doing right now, we can be confident in what he’s doing because his plans are perfect.

How do you need to be confident in the work God is doing in your life, knowing that his plan is working out perfectly?