SOAP Study - July 9, 2020
18 Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later. 19 For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are. 20 Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, 21 the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay. 22 For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children,[a] including the new bodies he has promised us. 24 We were given this hope when we were saved. (If we already have something, we don’t need to hope[b] for it. 25 But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.)
26 And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. 27 And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers[c] in harmony with God’s own will. 28 And we know that God causes everything to work together[d] for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. 29 For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn[e] among many brothers and sisters. 30 And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And having called them, he gave them right standing with himself. And having given them right standing, he gave them his glory.
PERSONAL SOAP STUDY
- What verse stood out to you while you were reading?
- What did you discover about God, yourself, and others?
- How should this information impact your life?
- What needs to be different about the way you are currently living?
- Take some time to talk to God about the things you just learned and how you want your life to look different. Give God thanks for revealing these things to you, ask Him for wisdom and courage to move forward so that you can apply these things to your life.
STAFF SOAP STUDY
Whoa! There is so much packed into this tiny passage. Verse 18 leads off in promising us that “what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later.” Paul then gives an explanation for why we suffer: When sin entered the world, creation was subject to suffering.
Three types of groaning are mentioned in this passage:
- Creation is groaning, longing to be made right and restored (v. 22).
- Believers groan, as we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering (v. 23).
- The Holy Spirit groans within us, praying for us in accordance to God’s will when we don’t know what to pray (v. 26).
Creation is groaning – causing pain and suffering while we are on earth. Believers are groaning – knowing this can’t be all there is. The Holy Spirit’s response? Groanings of prayer. Interceding for us, “in harmony with God’s own will.” This is one of the main ways the Spirit helps us in our weakness. The Spirit prays to God for what we don’t even know how to articulate what we need.
Do you ever feel like you don’t know what to pray? Do you ever feel like you don’t know what God’s will is? You are not alone! It is an incredible comfort to remember that even when we don’t feel like we know what God’s will is, His Spirit living within us does. And the Spirit prays for us, in harmony with the will of God. This allows me to pray with more freedom. I don’t have to worry about if am I saying the exact right thing. What matters, is that I come to God in prayer. The Spirit helps me in my weakness, and over time what I desire is shaped and modeled by what God desires for me. That is the Spirit’s work! That’s how we can make sense of Romans 8:28. All things work for good for HIS purpose, not our purpose.
Father, I thank you that your Spirit intercedes for me with groanings, in accordance with your will, when I don’t know what your will is and when I don’t know what to pray. Help me to trust your leading. Help me to believe that “what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory you will reveal” and because of that we can believe “that all things work for the good of those who love you and are called to your purpose.”