Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Triumphant Fortitude // in Black + Gray

Hey y'all! Hope your week is going well. We are working round the clock and through floods and power outages to get my sister's "Emma's Gluten-Free Baking Mixes" booth ready for the Franklin (TN) Farmer's Market this Saturday. She'll be there all season long, so if you're in the area, stop by on Saturdays from 8am-1pm!


I am in awe of the beauty of Romans. Every.Single.Sermon. has spoken to the deepest part of my heart both the first time I hear it, and now when I summarize it, in such timely ways. Especially in this season of incredible busyness and unrelenting physical ugginess, the Lord's grace shown through Romans 8 has kept me going. 
If y'all will remember we considered Creation's groaning last sermon, and now in Romans 8:22-25, we will discuss how this inspires us: "For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance."

Romans 8 is a passage of assurance. It's purpose is to assure us that God is not distant or stepping back when we encounter trials. When we question why God is allowing this to happen, when we are longing for heaven, Paul encourages us. Remember the groaning of Creation last week? Does the word "groaning" carry a negative connotation for you? I know it did for me. But my pastor explained that this is a special kind of groaning- this word should have no heaviness of spirit for us because of the phrase, "We also have the firstfruits of the Spirit" -- We have the down payment, the seal of God upon us that promises that He will bring the rest. The full harvest is yet to come. We know only a small, small portion of the incredible goodness of the Lord. Just as Creation is longing for it's redemption, so are we. Not with a burdened countenance, but with expectant spirits. 

Our peculiar groaning is specifically for our adoption. We are awaiting our coming into adulthood, becoming heirs. I talked a little about this in a past sermon summary, if you would like to review what it means to be adopted: {The Spirit Of God}. We are longing for something in the future, our heirship with Christ. This is a good, good groaning. Verse 23 says "the adoption, the redemption of our body." What a comfort! God calls us to be His children and redeems us. The Holy Spirit is the firstfruits of our redemption- that is, the Spirit in us now is the first taste, the down payment, for when our bodies will come into full redemption. This groaning is an assurance of the Spirit in us. 

Why doesn't God just give us our inheritance now? This groaning is a feature of our Salvation that pleases God. We were saved with hope and have a confident expectation of future completion. Two-fold answer for why God doesn't just give it to us now:
1) Because if we see it now, we do not hope for it. Verse 24 says we were saved in this hope. God's intent is that we do not settle into this life content, but that we have a deep longing for more. Not just a hope of sort of possible things that might come, but a total 100% sure expectation that He will fulfill His promises. 

2) So that we will eagerly wait for it with perseverance, endurance. Perseverance is one of the most valued attributes to God. It takes our focus off of ourselves and gives us perspective. This is hope that builds up our perseverance is a triumphant fortitude. Consider James 1:2-4, "My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials,  knowing that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.  But let perseverance have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing." 
Count it all joy, because it produces perseverance. We can suffer long with joy. When someone pushes your button over and over... and over, remember-- you are being perfected, and lack nothing. 

Something interesting about perseverance is that it conditions all the other attributes of the Christian life. The Christian who experiences triumphant fortitude is complete. Nothing should be able to shake or move you, because it is something else heavenly you are groaning for. We are to seek things above because that is when we will share the glory of Christ. We have the strength to put to death our desires here on earth when we develop this fortitude. God is in control, so we can love the unlovely, and persist in JOY. Spiritual perseverance rejoices even in the deepest of sorrows. 

Oh, how badly I needed this today. I'm sorry if it's totally rambley and slightly incoherent- it's my heart spilling because my head hurts badly. 

This is an outfit from this past winter when it was just starting to warm up a bit. Y'all saw this dress recently in the 1 Button-down | Three Days | Three Ways event; I wore it on day three. :) It's a great LBD and easy to style. When my sister and I were out taking pictures, my dad came and crashed the party, modeling his stylish Sunday afternoon wear. ;)

// outfit details //
Black eyelet dress: Express: ThredUP
Jacket: American Eagle: ThredUP
Shoes: Payless: ?? Have had them for YEARS
Necklace/Earring set: Boutique in town: $9/set
Hair flowers: Made by Me: {directions}

I hope y'all have a great day! What was your sermon about this week? What have you been struggling with lately that God has shown His grace in?


36 comments :

  1. I had JUST been wondering about how your family was doing with all the rain and flood and awful going on out there! Hope everything on your land is okay!

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    1. Thanks, everything is just fine! We lost a couple lanterns by our creek and have road repair work to do, but that's the extent of it thankfully!

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  2. Absolutely beautiful, Olivia! Romans truly is an amazing book- and I am so thankful that you share these sermons with us all. I guess these past few days have been a little discouraging for me, but just studying God's Word and praying before Him has truly given me a lot of comfort. I have been brainstorming, and I am starting to think about starting a non-profit organization that sends modest clothing and Bibles to girls in truly poor countries (in Africa, India...) I am beginning to pray about it, and if it's God's will, hopefully I will be able to do it. Your outfit is beautiful, like always, and your dad is really rocking it! Thank you for letting me share my little thoughts...have a blessed day!

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  3. Your hair looks really cute in these pictures! Love the look of bangs on you! =)

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  4. I'm so glad everything is okay! Hope Emma's booth is successful :)

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  5. Way to go Dad!!! Great outfit Olivia!

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  6. Your outfit is so pretty! Hope you all made it through the storm with no house damage.

    Moriah

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  7. You look lovely! Awesome to see pictures of you with your dad!

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  8. I see your dogs! they're so cute!
    ~Grace

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  9. Olivia,

    This outfit is so cute! Love the pics with your dad:) Great post!

    ~Sarah
    cutecombinations.blogspot.com

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  10. Hahaha! It is so awkward when your Dad crashes the party isn't it?! :-) Our Dad has done this before too! Beautiful outfit! -R.

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  11. Loved seeing pictures of you with your dad, Olivia! Godly fathers are such an incredible and wonderful blessing.

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    1. I agree, it was pretty cool. I always wondered what your family looked like!

      ~Rebekah~

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  12. My dad doesn't like his picture taken, and I don't either. Funny though! I love your outfit!

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  13. Thank you, I needed to hear that.it was very well said and encouraging....thank you.

    Elaine

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  14. Have you heard of "Evangelial intituits"? They hold a youth conference every year the last week of June. My sister has gone for two years and it has really impacted her life. If you want to go it really filling up fast

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    1. No, I hadn't heard of that. Sounds encouraging!

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  15. I guess your family has been experiencing bad weather too, I live in North Carolina so we've had some as well ~ Abbie

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  16. "Perseverance is one of the most valued attributes to God. It takes our focus off of ourselves and gives us perspective." Amazing and encouraging point! As always, thanks so much for sharing!

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  17. Not to mention the dogs totally didn't want to be left out of the fun too!

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  18. A dad to be proud of !!

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  19. Just curious, and not condemning you, Olivia, did you not have a headcovering on this Sunday? Great summary of your sermon! I always enjoy reading them. You go into so much detail, it could almost be a sermon in itself. We are going through Romans in church too.

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    1. I wear a headcovering every Lord's Day for services. I usually take it off soon afterwards though because anything on my head gives me a headache, so the headcovering doesn't always make it into the picture, unfortunately. I think I wore a pink hat with this outfit. :)

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  20. Hope to make it up your way one of these days so our family can hear one of your pastor's sermons. I appreciate his explanation of 'groaning' as it applies in Romans.
    Your outfit is lovely and elegant. Dad's outfit is nice too. :)

    Blessings,

    Victoria

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  21. "Something interesting about perseverance is that it conditions all the other attributes of the Christian life." I never thought about perseverance that way before. Thank you for the encouragement! :-)

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  22. I didn't realize how close you live to where I am. Pray the weather has treated you well.

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  23. Hope you all are feeling better(I am missing all the posts you usually do). I don't want to sound pushy, I just want you to know that I really enjoy your posts. Thank you for running this blog!

    Abbi

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  24. I love your grey cardigan. I have one that looks just the same and I love wearing it over a long sleeved dress or top. You look beautiful as always and your dad looks like a barrel of laughs :D

    ~Esther of Oz

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  25. You're friends with the Botkins, aren't you? Do you know why they don't post anything anymore?

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    1. It's been a while since I've talked to them about their blog. They've been really busy with farm work and weddings and such so I would imagine that's why the prolonged posting. :)

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  26. L💚VE this outfit, especially the sweater!

    Rebekah

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  27. Thank you, I really needed that today. :)

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  28. Is your church a young church or has it been around a while? (Sorry for the weird question…I was just wondering)

    Katy

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    1. Our church was planted in 2007, I believe. :)

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  29. I've got that sweater!!!!!!!! :~D

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