January 14 I Friday
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?” —Romans 8:35
We all experience pain and suffering at some point in our lives. Indeed, at times, life can be overbearing and we find ourselves asking, “Has God forgotten me at this point? Is God neglecting me?” Doubts begin to rise in the back of our minds: “If God is really God, why am I allowed to go through this pain and suffering? Isn’t He supposed to love me?”
In Romans 8, Paul lists several things, such as hardship, persecution, famine, danger and sword that we may experience, but none of them can separate us from the love of God. Life does hurt from time to time and we do feel pain. Tragic things happen, because we live in a fallen, corrupt world, but God is not the cause. In fact, He loves us so much that He sent His only Son to die for us. We only have to look at the cross of Christ to see the supreme demonstration of God’s love for us.
Romans 8:28 says, “God works for the good of those who love Him,” and we must trust Him for this, even though we do not always understand our circumstances or have any idea what will happen next. It is very often, when we are in trouble, that we discover the love of God much more than when life is treating us well. When we experience His comfort, it is when we need comforting. When we experience His strength, it is when we are weak. When we experience His security, it is when we are afraid. When we experience His presence, it is when we feel alone.
There are those who will wonder when a Christian goes through suffering if their faith means anything to them. They will question if their God is any good and if they still believe. Behind this thinking is the notion that faith in God is simply a whimsical belief, a fantasy to us. Now that we have hit reality, and the bubble has burst, are we going to collapse like everyone else? The reality is for those who know Christ, the reverse is true. When everything else is stripped away, it is then we find God to be most real.
The love of God does not exempt us from difficulties, but equips us for them, and there is a big difference. The Amplified Bible translation of Romans 8:37 says, “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors and gain an overwhelming victory through Him who loved us [so much that He died for us].” As Christians, we are more than conquerors in Christ and nothing in all of creation shall separate us from the love of God.
Prayer: Dear God, thank You for all that You are. Even when things do not go well in my life, I am grateful for the assurance from Your Word that nothing shall separate me from You.