Title: Groaning but not Whining

Focus: The whole creation groans in suffering due to corruption caused by sin, yet the groaning is only temporary because God provides a sure, confident hope for the future

Function: To encourage Christians to stay focused on their hope in God in spite of suffering and hardship

Text: Romans 8:18-30

1.  What is your goal/ focus in life?
	a.  Lot of interest in the future - Left behind series
	b.  Last 2000 years people have been trying to determine the future
2.  Are you interested in the future?
	a.  This morning’s text deals with the future
	b.  The text tells us we can be confident about the future
3.  Passage Setting
	a.  Life without Spirit - Chapter 7 - Powerless
	b.  Life with Spirit - Chapter 8 - New path, power, position
	c.  Purpose of this passage - Encourage us
4.  Prop:  The Spirit has given us a new perspective.  (Rom 8:18-30)

I.  (v.18-22) Perspective #1 - Hope for the world
	A.  The world is a messed up place
		1.  Does not always cooperate with us
		2.  v.21 - Enslaved to corruption, it is sick, does not work right
	B.  Some of you have witnessed this corruption
		1.  Rescue efforts - Tornado victims, flood victims
		2.  Police Officers - Car wrecks, houses burning down
		3.  Health care workers - Babies born with genetic defects, AIDS
		4.  Things that not attibutable to wreckless lives
	C.  So the creation “groans”
		1.  There are two types of groans
			a.  Hopeless groan 
				- Groan of one dying of terminal cancer, aids, etc.
				- Depair, hoplessness, time is up
				- ILL:  Freind of mine at Harding - Mother died not a 
				   Christian.  He SO sad, knew she was lost
			b.  Hopeful groan - All mothers are familiar with this
				- Groan of childbirth
				- Our children born, groan - cry of child, we cry for joy
				- Knew it all going to be alright
		2.  (v22) - Creations’ groan a hopeful groan
		3.  We do not dwell on pain of Childbirth
			a.  Will laugh about it.  Why?
			b.  Child trumphs pain both physically and emotionally
		4.  Not worthy to compare the two
	D.  The world is groaning pains of childbirth - Hopeful groan
		1.  (Rev 21:5) - New Heaven and New Earth, all things new
		2.  World will be a safe haven for all of us who love God
		3.  World will not always be as it is now

II.  Perspective #2 - Hope for ourselves
	A.  The world is not the only thing messed up
		1.  We are all messed up
		2.  If young and healthy, may not be aware that body is dying
		3.  Everying wears out and breaks down
			a.  Can replace tires, hinges, shingles, etc.
			b.  Cannot truly replace body parts
		4.  Your body is wearning out as I speak
	B.  So creation not only thing that groan, we groan too (8:23-25)
		1.  May hear creaking in your bones in morning
		2.  But, it is not a hopeless groan
		3.  Why?  We have been given the first fruits of the Holy Spirit
	C.  My mother green thumb
		1.  She used to give us green plants, but not any more, we kill them
		2.  Always had a garden
		3.  Bring in first red tomato, rest all green
		4.  We all knew single red tomato meant it just the beginning
	D.  God gave us the Spirit - It Just the beginning!
		1.  (v23) Eagerly await adoption as sons
		2.  (v15-16) - We officially adopted - paperwork already done!
		3.  Only thing left is for him to come and pick us up
		4.  Jesus is coming to pick us up!

III.  Perspective #3 - God gauranteed our hope!!
	A.  Hope in God is not a wishy, washy maybe
		1.  Didn’t you hate asking for something, parents say, “maybe”
		2.  To kids, that means yes, to parents, that means no
			- Maybe often meant disappointed kids
		3.  But that is not Christian hope
			a.  It is like awaiting pickup after adoption goes through
			b.  It is like expecting a baby
			c.  It is like expecting bumper crop of tomatoes
		4.  So we hopefully groan, we say - Abba!  Father!
	B.  Ever been in so much pain, can only groan?
		1.  Kid finger stuck in door - could only say ow! ow! ow!
		2.  Emotional pain - Child loses parents, cry but no words
		3.  Have you ever been in so much pain, words not express it?
	C.  God loves you so much, that he has his Spirit groan for you!! (v26-27)
		1.  But God knows the pain exactly - He searches hearts
		2.  So words are not needed, only groaning
		3.  God knows our pain through Jesus, Jesus walked in our shoes
		4.  God did everything he could to ensure our salvation
	D.  (v.28-30) - We can have a confident hope through life
		1.  v.27 - All things work together for good to those who love God
		2.  This section not discussion of free will but encouragement
			a.  Meant to strengthen hope
			b.  Meant to give confidence 
			c.  Meant to life spirit of the downhearted
		3.  God predestined the cross from the beginning
			a.  God has brought his plans about
			b.  So we can have confidence

1.  That is our perspective through the Spirit - Confident hope!
2.  Not matter what difficulty you have
	a.  Not worthy to be compared to glory that is coming!
	b.  Just like child birth
3.  Don’t let dark times in your life drive you away from God!
	a.  Some try to find comfort in drugs, sex, or benign activity that takes you 
	      away from God.  May feel no use for God
	b.  Taking focus off Him - Will only make it worse!
4.  Have you put your focus on him?
	a.  Repent & Baptism
	b.  Make him Lord of your life
5.  Text say sufferings not worthy to be compared with glory coming
	a.  Why?  We have been given single red tomato
	b.  That is just the beginning
	c.  New world, new body, and confidence!!
6.  Not only this, Spirit helps our weaknesses and groans to God for us!
7.  Take courage - Stay focused on the goal
	a.  When go grocery shopping, see tomatoes, remember this lesson!
	b.  Will be overloaded with good things from God!