Joyce Meyer - Bible Study, Romans 8
Well, welcome to the program today. I'm so glad that you've joined us. You know, we've been working toward helping people understand that they can study the Bible. And we've made some real progress with lots of people, and I think that some of you are really enjoying getting into your own Bible study and realizing that you can do it. And so I'm gonna take some time today and occasionally to just do a little Bible study with you out of specific chapters or specific areas of chapters that I feel are really important or that have really impacted my own life. And so all you really need to do this Bible study is a Bible, a notebook, some listening ears and hearts, and the Holy Spirit walking alongside of us, helping us understand the Word of God.
So take some notes if there's any way that you can. If it's too late for you to do it today, then maybe you can re-watch this online and you can do it at that time. We're gonna study today Romans 8:26-39. And there's actually, I have 11 points out of just these verses, 11 things that we can specifically learn out of these verses. First it says, "So too the Holy Spirit comes to our aid and bears us up in our weaknesses". So the first thing that I wrote down here is the Holy Spirit strengthens us in our weakness. That's the first thing that we can learn today. My goodness, how wonderful is that? We all have weaknesses, we know that. I have weaknesses. You have weaknesses. Is there anybody in here today that doesn't have any weaknesses? We all have weaknesses, and the enemy would like us to believe that because of those weaknesses, we are unable to do certain things. But the Bible clearly teaches us that God strengthens us in our weaknesses, and it's through the Holy Spirit who is with us all the time.
When Jesus left the earth and ascended on high, he said, "You're really better off that I go away because I'm going to send you another helper, a comforter, to be with you and in you all the time. Then these verses begin to talk about prayer. And you know, I think prayer is really important to all of us, at least it should be, because prayer is actually one of the most powerful privileges that we have from God. It's a privilege to be able to pray. It's not something we have to do. We don't get brownie points with God when we do. It's a privilege. And when you think about that you can go to your Heavenly Father and ask him for absolutely anything, who wouldn't want to pray? But I think here again the enemy tries to convince us that we're not praying right, we're not praying long enough, we're not saying the right thing, maybe we're not in the right position.
Have any of you ever, even though you're committed to prayer, the enemy tells you those lies that, "Well, that wasn't right. You didn't..." you know, how 'bout it? I mean, I've went through that in my life. But these scriptures kinda debunk that whole theory because it says that, "The Holy Spirit comes to bear us up in our weaknesses: for we don't know what prayer to offer nor how to offer it worthily as we ought to". And I'd really like to stop right there just a minute because I think that many times, God puts things in our heart that he wants us to be bold enough to ask for, and yet the enemy comes right behind and says, "Well, you don't deserve that. You're not worthy of that help. I mean, look at how bad you acted just yesterday. Who do you think you are to pray"?
And so I just really focused on this this morning even when I was reading this, that the Holy Spirit helps us offer our prayers worthily. Not that we're worthy in ourself, but through the teaching of the Holy Spirit, we can learn that when we come to God, we need to come boldly to the throne in the name of Jesus. We don't pray in our own name, but we pray in the name of Jesus.
So the second point that I wrote down is he teaches us to pray accurately. I love that. So you can rest that when you spend time in prayer, just this morning, I had to remind myself of this. I was walking around my room praying, sitting in my chair praying. And you know, the enemy will still, after all these years, whisper to me, "Oh, you're not praying the right thing," or "You need to pray about this or that. You don't really need to pray about this. You need to be doing something else," or "What about this"? And I relied on these verses. Nope, the Holy Spirit is with me. He's praying through me because I've invited him. Therefore I believe that this prayer that I'm praying is an exactly perfect prayer. I'm saying exactly what I need to, just enough, not too much, and God hears me, not because of the name of Joyce, but the name of Jesus.
And I think we could stop right there and just say, "Oh boy, that is really good". Because we all really need to just be able to... I mean, what's the point in praying if you're gonna doubt the whole time you're praying that you're praying right or it's even doing any good? And I really think the enemy does come against people in this way and I'm sure that there are many of you watching by TV right now or other devices and you're like, "Boy, that's me". And so a lot of times, people get so discouraged that they don't even want to pray at all. Then he goes on to say that, "He helps us offer the prayer worthily as we ought, but the Spirit himself goes to meet our supplication and pleads in our behalf with unspeakable yearnings and groanings too deep for utterance".
Now you know, that may be a little bit hard for some people to understand, but let me just simplify it for you today. And I think that if we're really trusting that the Holy Spirit prays through us, that he knows the perfect will of God, and that we're depending on him to strengthen us in our weaknesses, I think even if I'm walking around, and I'm feeling, like, overwhelmed, and I go, "Ugh"! I think even that, according to what I'm reading, an uttering, a groaning, something I don't even really understand, still the Holy Spirit knows what's behind that, what my need is. I don't have to put it into a perfect little rhyming, eloquent prayer that sounds very religious. I can just go, "Ugh"! So, see, a lot of you are groaning all day long, but you're groaning in the wrong way. And so God wants us to do a holy groan, not an unholy groan where we think that, we just need to say, "God, you know what I need. I'm depending on you to turn this into something that's really going to bear good fruit".
And then he goes on in verse 27, and I'll just read it to you. "He who searches the hearts of men knows what is in the mind of the Holy Spirit what his intent is, because the Spirit intercedes and pleads before God in behalf of the saints according to and in harmony with God's will". So every time we start to pray, we need to say, "Now, Father, in Jesus' name I come to you through the Holy Spirit. I'm trusting that the Holy Spirit is aiding me and helping me. And I know that I can't pray a perfect prayer, but I believe the Holy Spirit is gonna take my prayer and he's gonna fix it all up before it gets to your ears. And when you hear it, you're gonna give me the exact right thing that I need".
Now, verse 28 should be one of our very favorite verses in the Bible. I know it certainly is mine and my husband's. We use it all the time. And it says, "And we are assured and know that God being a partner in their labor". So I think that, you know, he's basically saying that prayer sometimes is a labor. It's an effort. It's not like a big work's trip, but we have to make a commitment to do it. "That him being a partner in our labor all things work together". My, that's good. "All things work together and are fitting into a plan, for good to and for those who love God and are called according to his purpose". So we can say that no matter what happens to us, no matter how bad it may seem, if we will continue to do three things: pray, love God, and want his will. Pray to the best of our ability, through the Holy Spirit, trusting him to help us pray the right way. Pray, love God, and want his will. Pray, love God, and want his will. He will take it and God will make it all work out for good. Isn't that wonderful? That is very comforting to me today and I hope it is also very comforting to you.
Now, verse 29, "For those whom he foreknew of whom he was aware and loved beforehand, he also destined from the beginning foreordaining them to be molded into the image of his Son and share inwardly his likeness: that he might become the firstborn of many brethren". You know, Jesus didn't wanna be the only one that lived a resurrection life. When he was raised from the dead, he wanted to be the firstborn among many other who would believe in him and also live out that resurrection life in their everyday life.
And I was reading something this morning that somebody else wrote about these chapters, just wanting to see what else I could learn to share with you, and he mentioned this verse, and he said, you know, we were predestined, foreordained. And predestined doesn't mean that it's automatically gonna happen. It basically means that that's God's will from the very beginning, and if we will cooperate with that then we'll see that happen in our lives. So in eternity past, he already made his mind up the kind of life he wanted us to live, and then he called us into that life. He's already made a decision that he's justifying us and making us just as if we had never sinned so we can live that kind of righteous, peaceful, joyful life.
And he has also already, in eternity future, glorified us, which means that we are gonna manifest all the excellencies of God if we stick with God. We have got nothing in front of us but an amazingly, wonderful, awesome life and opportunity, and it's all by the grace, and the mercy, and the goodness of God. And we have been destined not to be a mess of all of our lives. We have been destined not to have more problems than we can count. But we have been destined to be molded, or transformed, or changed into the very image of Jesus Christ. Awesome!
So number five is we are destined to be like Christ. Let me make sure you've got these down.
* Number one, the Holy Spirit strengthens us in our weakness.
* Number two, he teaches us to pray accurately.
* Number three, he prays perfect prayers for and through us.
* Number four, all things work out for my good as I pray, love God, and want God's will.
* Number five, we are destined to be like Christ.
You know, the thing that I'm wanting everybody to understand is that really, you know, now today I'm teaching you out of these verses, but you could sit down with some similar verses, ask the Holy Spirit to help you, get a notebook, get a translation of the Bible that you can understand. The Holy Spirit will teach you. Now, you might even get some things out of this that I didn't get, but my point is to show you that in this 1/2 hour of time that we have together, just a 1/2 hour, there's 11 things that we're gonna learn by studying for a 1/2 an hour that are gonna help us all throughout our day and the rest of our life.
You know, I kinda decided the other day that I wanted to start encouraging everybody let's learn at least one thing every day. I mean, surely we could do that. Let's just learn at least one thing every day or let's be refreshed in one thing every day that maybe we've already learned but we're getting a little bit lazy in it. You know, I might take a morning and just study the power of the words of my mouth, or take a morning and just study the power of thoughts. I wanna learn something every single day, because you know what? Knowledge is power. And for a lack of knowledge, people perish. And the more we know about the good Word of God, the more we can walk in victory. Now, I hope you're ready for a good point right now, because this next one is awesome. "What then shall we say to all this? If God is for us, who can be against us"?
Number six. God is for us! Big exclamation mark. If God is for us, who can be against us? You know, if you're worried about that person at work that's talking about you, what does it really matter since God is for you? If you're worried about that person who rejected you or tried to convey a message to you that you were no good, why are you getting upset about that? God has already said that you have special worth and value because you're his child and he sent his only Son to die for you. If God be for us...
Come on, I don't know what might be hurting you today or be bothering you or upsetting you. There are things that happen, we get hurt, we get disappointed. The enemy wants to make us think we're never gonna overcome, but I'm here today to tell you from the wonderful Word of God that God is for you. And if God is for you, who can be against you? You see, there's nobody greater than God. Nobody greater than God. He is the greatest of all. And if he's for us, and he is, who can be against us?
Now verse 32 is so exciting too. "He who did not withhold or spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, will he not also with him freely and graciously give us all other things"? So, if God did not even withhold his own Son, which was the greatest thing he could ever give, and I'm sure the hardest thing he ever had to give, then what else do we have to worry about or be concerned about? What is it that you need today that you think God would withhold from you? Do you need a job? If he gave you his Son, he can get you a job.
Do you need strength? Do you need to overcome something from your past? Do you need healing? Do you need peace of mind? Do you need to have your broken heart healed? Do you need to talk to God about something concerning your children? You know what, we don't have to fear. God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and love, and a sound mind. Now, fear will present itself to you, but when it does, you need to just say, "Nope, wait a minute. God is for me. He's already predetermined that I am gonna live a resurrection life just like Jesus did. God's for me and he did not withhold his only Son, so why would he withhold anything else that I really need"? Can we get ahold of that today?
Number seven, God provides everything in all capital letters — everything that we need. My, my, my. It's hard to believe you can get this much good news in 30 minutes, isn't it?
Number eight is coming up next, and it's taken from verse 33. "Who shall bring any charge against God's elect when it is God who justifies that is, who puts us in right relation to himself? Who shall come forward and accuse or impeach those whom God has chosen? Will God, who acquits us? And who is there to condemn us? Will Christ Jesus the Messiah, who died, or rather who was raised from the dead, who is at the right hand of God actually pleading as he intercedes for us"? So, wow. We have so much trouble with guilt and condemnation, don't we? Feeling bad about ourselves. You know, condemnation pushes you down, makes you feel bad, but true conviction from the Holy Spirit lets you know that you did something wrong, but it lifts you up out of it.
When condemnation comes from satan, and sometimes satan doesn't even have to work too hard on most of us. We'll do it for him. We've gotten so good at feeling guilty about everything that we don't even need any help from the devil. People, many times, will load guilt on us. You know, a lot of times people are not willing to let us let go of our past mistakes. They're always, in different ways, hinting or reminding us of what we've done wrong, and kinda making us feel like, "You're gonna be paying for that for a long, long time". But these scriptures are telling us plainly that none of that comes from God.
When you feel that, or if you feel that today, man, if you're feeling down, and guilty, and condemned, all you need to do is tell God that you're sorry and receive the forgiveness that has already been provided through the blood of Christ. Be repentant, be willing to turn away from that sin with God's help, and then you need to receive. Ask and receive that your joy may be full. I'm pretty convinced that a lot of times we pray, and pray, and pray about things and never stop and take the time to actually receive them. So if you're gonna ask God for forgiveness, then just take a moment and say, "Now, I receive that. I receive that as a gift from you, and I am forgiven".
Now then, when guilt or condemnation comes, which the enemy will try to get back in. You have to remember that where there's no sin there can be no condemnation, so when Jesus forgives our sin, he removes them as far as the east is from the west and he remembers them no more. So I say very often we need to stop remembering what God has forgotten. We need to stop talking to him about what he has already put as far as the east is from the west. And I'm very big on verbal, out loud confession of the Word of God. I think it just helps renew my mind and I believe that it also disturbs the devil's atmosphere. He doesn't like to hear the Word of God. You must remember that when Jesus was being tempted by the devil for 40 days and 40 nights, he said, "It is written," and spoke the Word of God. So I'm not just coming up with some foreign, weird idea here. If Jesus spoke the Word of God out loud then why shouldn't we?
So when the enemy comes against us with guilt and condemnation, we need to remember it's not from God. Romans 8 says it's not from God because he's the one who justifies us. It's not from Jesus because he's the one who died for us and is right now at this very moment seated at the right hand of God, pleading in intercession for every single one of us. So if it's not God and it's not Jesus, then who's left? Well it's gotta be either me doing it to myself or me letting other people do it, or it has to be the devil doing it to me through his lies and deceptions. The devil is a liar. The truth is not in him. So then I need to say, "No, my sin's forgiven, and this feeling that I have of guilt is a lie, and I don't receive it".
Now verse 35, "Who shall ever separate us from Christ's love? Shall suffering and affliction and tribulation? Or calamity and distress? Or persecution or hunger or destitution or peril or sword"? It's so important that we don't let anything separate us from the love of God that's found in Christ Jesus. You know why? Because knowing that you're loved makes you strong. Knowing that you're loved gives you confidence. You hold your head up, and you put your shoulders back, and you don't slump around all day feeling like you're just the tail end of everything. God loves you.
And you know what? I'm kinda feeling right now that maybe there's some of you that have never heard that before. We might think, "Well, how is that possible in today's world"? Well, to be honest, it's very possible. I've had lots of people tell me, "I never had anybody tell me that God loved me". Maybe you've spent all your life thinking God's mad at you or being afraid of God. Well, I want you to know that he loves you and he desires an intimate relationship with you. And we're gonna put a number up on our screen at the end of this program, and if you've not received Christ as your Savior, please call us and let us pray with you and talk to you about what it means to be born again.
Jesus is waiting to come and have a personal relationship with you. He loves you very much. Don't ever be separated from the love of God. In John 15, it says, "Abide in the love of God". And that means live, dwell, remain, and stay in the love of God. So even if you have a problem, you say, "Well God, I believe you love me". If you get disappointed and things didn't work out the way you want them to, "God, I believe that you love me". Even if somebody rejects you, you say, "Well God, I believe that you love me and you will never reject me". And if God be for me, who can be against me? If God is on my side, whom shall I fear?
And I love verse 36, "Even as it is written, for thy sake we are put to death all the day long: we are regarded and counted as sheep for the slaughter. Yet amid all these things we are more than conquerors," more than conquerors, "And we gain a surpassing victory through him who loved us". So just to make sure that we have all this right.
Number eight is condemnation is not from God. Number nine is nothing can ever separate us from God's love. And now number ten, we are more than a conqueror. Now, what about this, "Sometimes we look like sheep being led to the slaughter"? I kinda like that because to me it's indicating that people who don't understand faith and trusting God, if they're looking on at our lives, sometimes it may look to them like we're just like sheep being led to the slaughter. You know, because you're just kinda submissively waiting for God to deliver you, and it can look kinda strange. But he said right in the midst of all of those things... now let's just say somebody, you know, is having a terrible bout with some kind of sickness or disease, and they're happy, they're peaceful, and they're just saying, "I'm trusting God to take care of it".
Well, to somebody looking on, that may not make any sense to them. They're like, "Well, how can you be peaceful? You know, your life's no better than mine". Well, I'm sorry, but really it is because if you know Christ, your life is always better than somebody who doesn't know Christ. Just think how you would like to have some of the problems you have and not know Jesus. So even though we still have problems, right in the midst of all that we are more than conquerors. And you know why? And I love this. This is what God put in my heart that that means a long time ago. To be more than a conqueror means that before you ever get the problem, you already know that in the end, you win. And I love that.
So that allows us to live without fear. I don't have to be concerned about what may happen tomorrow, or what might happen this afternoon, or you know, all those things, because I already know that God is with me, and he's for me, and that the Holy Spirit is gonna strengthen me in my weaknesses, and God loves me all the time, and that I am more than a conqueror. Oh my gosh, I can hardly believe what we're learning here in just 30 minutes. This is amazing. And then number 11, last one. And it goes on to say, "For I am persuaded beyond doubt I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities, nor things impending and threatening nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord".
That's number 11. Be deeply rooted in the love of God. You know, a tree that has deep roots does not blow away in a storm. And the Bible tells us to be rooted and grounded in Christ and to be rooted and grounded in his love. I hope today that you know by faith how much, how very much God loves you, and that Jesus died for you, and that the Holy Spirit is with you right now to help you in every single thing that you do.