(S.O.A.P. — Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer)
SCRIPTURE — Romans 8:17 – and if children, then heirs – heirs of God and fellow-heirs with Christ, provide we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.
OBSERVATION — Is our “heirship with Christ” dependent on suffering with him? I’m looking at the following verses which speak about “the sufferings of the present time” and creation’s “bondage to corruption” as it groans to “obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.” I believe that Paul is thinking of the “present suffering” which Christians share with every other human on this fallen, broken planet. He is probably also thinking of the persecution suffered by many believers in his day (and in our day as well). But the work of saving us – the work of redemption – was completed by Jesus on the cross.
APPLICATION / PRAYER — Father, help me to see my present trials as your plan to toughen me up, to strengthen my character, to build the character of your son Jesus within me. In His name, Amen.