Posted on behalf of Pastor Wes
Romans 8: 31-38 NRSV
God’s Love in Christ Jesus
What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not withhold his own Son, but gave him up for all of us, will he not with him also give us everything else? Who will bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? It is Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us.[a] Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, 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 in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Who, or what stands against us?
What stands in our way?
How do we overcome obstacles in our life?
These are questions that all people ask themselves everyday…these days, probably more than ever!
None of us can truly say that any day is trouble free.
Most of us would like to say this, but we know it’s not true.
Some days we feel like nothing can go right and everything and everyone is against us.
Unfortunately, this is, all too often, exactly what happens.
We live in a world that is not perfect.
Sometimes it’s painful.
Sometimes it’s scary.
Sometimes it’s just not fair.
Sometimes it’s might feel simply awful and unbearable.
We wonder if there is anyone or anything that could possibly make any difference.
Maybe even if just one little thing would go right or if just one person would tell us that we were OK, maybe…just maybe things would start to turn out better.
When we’re faced with times like this, we can remember one very important thing.
There is someone who cares.
There is someone who loves us totally and completely…no matter who we are… no matter how bad it gets… no matter how bad we think we are.
It’s God who stands for us…all of the time.
In this passage from Romans, which is easily in my top 5 favorites from scripture, St. Paul testifies to us about how much God really loves us.
Paul tells us that nothing or no one has the power to condemn us.
Nothing or no one can come between us and the love that God showed us in Jesus.
Even though sometimes we are faced with more crises and catastrophes than we can believe…
Even though we still sin and fall short…we still forget about and even ignore our special relationship with God.
Even though we may feel like we absolutely do not deserve such love.
Even though we sometimes find it hard to even believe in such a love!
God still cherishes and values each and every man, woman, and child in the entire world…you and I…everyone!!!!
And because of this, God sent his Son, Jesus Christ, to prove to us, once and for all, that we are his beloved children.
That’s not to say that we won’t still hurt from time to time. Again, right now this is more evident than ever.
Everything still won’t always go our way.
We’ll still get angry and frustrated at the way life seems to treat us.
But just think…those frightening and frustrating things NEVER have the final say!
Jesus Christ died for us and rose again to be our link…our very lifeline that connects us to Almighty God.
Christ has given us the power to overcome all of the difficulties of life.
It’s not always easy…but Jesus is with us all of the time.
St. Paul tells us that Christ has made us conquerors.
We are conquerors who cannot be separated from our relationship to God, and cannot be defeated by the troubles of the world and our lives.
Nothing, not one single, solitary thing in the vastness of Creation can change that relationship.
All that is hurtful or painful has ultimately been conquered through Jesus.
So during these trying times, when we’re undoubtedly feeling afraid and helpless, we can go about our lives in the confidence that God is for us…nothing else in creation can stand against us, because God is with us…every step of the way.
As we face life’s pains and setbacks, we know that they are never equal to the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Thanks be to God!
Let us pray…
Lord Jesus, strengthen our faith and resolve in this time of difficulty, that we might continue to place our ultimate trust in you. We know that you conquered sin and death for our sakes, and that nothing can ever change that. Help us to reflect that love around us; that all people may come to know you and the healing power of your love. Amen.