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Handling adversities

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?... But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:31-32, 37-39

Here we come to one of the most moving passages of the whole Bible. It accomplishes Paul’s purpose of encouragement in a way that has made it a reference for Christians in times of difficulty throughout the history of the church. We have all discovered to some extent the truth of the description in chapter 7 of the inner turmoil that, at times, seems to be the overwhelming experience of life for the believer. We have also tasted the tension with the whole universe caused by the Fall and the power of sin in the world. We all need to be convinced repeatedly, therefore, that “there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1) and that “our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18). Then Paul raised this question in v. 31; “What, then, shall we say in response to this?” Then the responses he cited where a proclamation designed to provoke the determination of believers to remain faithful in spite of everything. To live a victorious life, one hardly needs more than to know that God is for us. But there is more. He has redeemed us from sin through the gift of His Son, Jesus Christ. If He has gone that far, it is hardly sensible to think that He would then ignore us. So both the person of God and the salvation of God are offered to encourage us in what would otherwise be an impossibly hard life. He has shown that it is possible to do the will of God even while we are experiencing human life completely. We are being assured that Christians need not fear. “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?” (Romans 8:35). The kind of love that drove the Son of God to die and live for those responsible for His death is not going to let anybody or anything come between the lover and the beloved. Not even “trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword” can separate us from that love. It is hard to imagine how Paul could have listed any more terms that would have struck such fear into the hearts of people of his day. Each age of history seems to develop its own phobias, as has ours; but we can live in the assurance that the love of God is unconquerable. There is nothing we or anybody else can do to make God stop loving us. In fact, because of that love, we can be assured that all things, even the bad things, are ultimately working together for good. Praise God!


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