"Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us."When we are going through tribulations, oftentimes they are awkward, difficult to talk about, or paint us in a bad light, even if it's not a trial from something we have done. Hope does not disappoint, disgrace, or cause us shame because we know the Lord is working in our lives. We should not shirk from these things, but recognize how the Holy Spirit is ministering to us in our trials. Our pastor broke it down into 4 points:
1) The Holy Spirit is doing a work of God in our hearts. Most of our troubles come from external circumstances, do they not? Or, at least we feel that way, so we try to change what's going on around us to alleviate the pressure that has come. We manipulate our schedules, cut out activities, stop visiting stressful news sites, etc, thinking that the problem is the outside stuff. This may be partly true, but if the internal steel of the pillar is not strong, shoring the outside with more or taking away concrete is not going to make the pillar withstand the pressure of the roof better. Changing your circumstances is just cosmetic work. God will give us the inner strength that we might endure.
2) The Holy Spirit pours out God's love in our hearts. We need to have an unshakable confidence that God still loves us when these hard times come. Romans 8:35-39 encourages us here. Verses 38-39:
"...For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."God loves us in our trials without interruption.
We need to KNOW this. The amazing thing is that this word "demonstrates" is in the present tense. Right now, in the midst of our trials, He is showing His own love toward us!
4) The Holy Spirit ministers the truth of our salvation to us. Isn't it amazing how every time the Gospel is preached it gets a little bit sweeter to us? In spite of our ungodly character, the Gospel is more potent encounter after encounter. Verse 6 is so powerful-- Christ died for- instead of- the ungodly-- that's me! ME!
When we just want the answers, we question God's love, y'know? We cry, "Lord, why don't you just remove these trials from us?" When we don't get the answer we want, we shouldn't question the Lord's love because Christ died for us while we were still dead! That is our foundation. Our hope. This love He has for us, He works through us also so that we can love as He loved-- unconditionally, even our enemies and those who have sinned against us. Because that's how He loves us.
When we are crumbling beneath the pressure, we need to go back to the truths of God's love. It will sustain us from the inside, strengthen our inner steel. Let's not be forgetful hearers, okay? Let's surrender to the spirit of God so that He may minister to us.
Dress: Charity Shop: $1 (No alterations from me and it fits like a dream. :))
Halftee: c/o Halftee.com
Shoes: Charity Shop: $2
Earrings: Forever21: $3
Headscarf: Belt from a pair of jeans my sister got when she was 8. :P
Hope y'all have a lovely day! What was your sermon about?