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Life has a way of making God small in our eyes. We go through painful times, or get busy and focused on the details of life, or we become overly-impressed with ourselves and think we are in fact the center of the universe. There are many things that can make God seem small, and at the same can often seem to make our problems big. Genesis 1 helps us to lift up our eyes, see the enormity of God, and trust him in the difficult times of life.
Why does Paul write a letter to the Romans? There are a number of reasons, not just a single one. One reason is that he wants to be assisted by them as he goes to Spain on a mission trip. But above all, he writes as the apostle to the Gentiles because of the grace that has been given to them, to write to establish them, and to make sure things are going well at the church in Rome because that’s his responsibility. He had a unique view of his apostleship.
What do you do when pain comes? The fact of the matter is that pain -- physical, emotional, spiritual -- is one of the greatest tools the Lord has to conform us to the image of his Son, to grow us up spiritually. The absence of pain is not God’s greatest good; I don’t see it listed anywhere in the Bible as a good thing. The goal of life is to grow in the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22–23) and so grow into the likeness of Jesus (2 Corinthians 3:18). Pain helps us do this.