Groaning in the Spirit – Gospel in Life

Groaning in the Spirit

Tim Keller |  December 10, 2006

Download Agreement

By downloading this file, I confirm I understand Gospel in Life's Copyright & Permissions policies and agree to only use this file for personal usage and will not upload it to any third-party platforms.


  • The Holy Spirit
  • Suffering
Romans 8:13-27
RS 194-04

Romans 8:13–27

Believing in Jesus changes us from the inside out, and we notice this change most when we’re going through hard times. Even during happy occasions like Christmas, some of us might feel alone in our troubles. But the book of Romans teaches us three important things: to recognize that suffering is real, to know how to face it, and to trust the tools we have to deal with it. Through these principles, we can find comfort and strength in Jesus, even when life gets tough.

1. The text warns us about suffering

The word ‘groaning’ is used to describe deep distress, like the pain experienced during childbirth or in a dangerous situation. This idea is used for the whole world, showing that everything, including us, is subject to wear and tear. It’s a strong reminder that pain is a part of life, and we need ways to deal with it.

2. The text gives us three tools to deal with suffering

Jesus gives us prayer, a model to follow, and a way of looking at things that can help us handle suffering. We’re introduced to Abba prayer, where we talk to God like a child talks to their parent, showing that God listens and responds to us. The Holy Spirit also helps us pray when we don’t know how to. We learn about how suffering can change us, the importance of being humble, and the idea that our current struggles are minor compared to the great things that are coming.

3. The text assures us that these tools will work

God’s Spirit understands our pain because God became human and experienced suffering. Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross means we’re never alone in our troubles, and our cries are heard by a Father who cares about our deepest needs. Our pain has a purpose, shaping us and leading to a future without evil or suffering. This gives us hope and the promise of victory in the end.



Who Is the Spirit?

By Tim Keller

Questions of Suffering

By Tim Keller

Father, Son and Holy Spirit

By Tim Keller

June Book Offer

Deepen and Strengthen Your Marriage!

Marriage is one of the most profound human relationships — but it can also be one of the most challenging. So Tim and Kathy Keller designed a devotional book for married couples to use together.