We have begun the season of Easter 2022 seeking to understand how the resurrection of Jesus gives hope to the separated, the condemned, the suffering. Paul’s words in Romans chapter 8 have already been inspiring. Now we turn to the amazing end of the chapter, and Paul’s message just keeps getting better. Let’s start by reading 28-30.
How is God working before the scenes? For the good of those who love him. God is working for your good. Though it might not seem like sometimes, God is always good. He always has your best interest in mind. How so? Paul tells us. And in what he says, the good news just keeps going! Let’s read verses 31-39.
Did you hear what Paul said? If God is for us, who can be against us? Yes, people might condemn us, be we have God on our side! Amazing!
Look at the lengths God has gone to show his love to us. He didn’t even spare his own Son, Paul says!!! If you think about that, then you can conclude what Paul concluded. If God would go to the great lengths of sending Christ to be born, grow up, live, show us how to live, then die for us, take our place, surely he’s there for us in the comparatively little things we face now, right?
In fact, notice how Paul returns to the question we started this week’s blog posts with: Verse 35 – Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?
What is the answer? Verse 39 – [nothing] will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
We’ve had a couple tough years, right? 2020 and 2021 were difficult for so many. But imagine being the people of Myanmar or Ukraine in 2022 as their countries are consumed with war. Imagine being Christians living in places where Christianity is illegal. Imagine being a refugee. I think it is important to remember that though we can go through hard times, there is almost always someone who has it worse.
While that can put our pain and loss into perspective, and we do need to put it in perspective, our pain and loss still hurts. Our pain and loss are real, and just knowing that someone else has it worse doesn’t always transform our emotion and thoughts. We still struggle and hurt, and we want our pain to be done! To want to be done with pain is a normal human desire.
So in the middle of our desire to be done with suffering, what Paul reminds us is that nothing can get between the love that God has for us. There is nothing so bad, nothing so difficult that it can get in the way of God’s love for us.
No trouble is too much. No hardship is too much.
Not persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword, Paul says.
The times may be very, very tough, but he says that in these things we are more than conquerors, through him who loved us! The love of Jesus, the love that God has for us is a powerful thing.
And he says that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, not anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us!
God loves you.
No matter how bad it gets for you, remember that image of Jesus, hanging on the cross, remember the broken body that he gave. In the middle of such difficult times, whether the loss of a loved one, when the terrible financial situation so many find themselves in, whether a broken relationship, whether the presence of war and evil in this world, remember the cross. The cross? Are you thinking that’s an odd thing to remember when life is awful.
When life is rough, how do we normally respond? It is easy to look at the troubles in this world, and cry out “Why God? Why are you letting this happen? Are you real? Wouldn’t a loving God do something about this?” It is very natural to raise these questions. We all think them. If God is really who he says he is, he can handle it when you bring these questions to him. So voice your concern. Voice your doubt. Get it out in the open.
How will God respond to our cry? Upset at us for questioning him? Angry that we don’t trust him? Maybe he will tell us to shut up? No. Not even close. His beautiful answer is found the words of God in Romans 8:32, “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all.” God’s answer is Jesus on the cross. In the midst of your trouble, remember Jesus once hung on a cross. In the midst of your pain, your doubt, remember Jesus once hung on a cross.
A loving God did do something about it after all. He didn’t let evil, trouble and death go unnoticed. He lovingly sent Jesus to take our place, to die for us, to deal with all the mess for us, because he knew we couldn’t do it ourselves.
God offers you that victory in Jesus. Not sure how to receive it? I would be glad to talk further. Just comment below. Also, in tomorrow’s post, we’ll talk about it further because the good news of Easter is that, while Jesus’ death on the cross is vital, there more to the story! There’s a significant detail Paul mentions next. Check back tomorrow as we’ll talk about it.