God Is for Us
Nothing Can Separate Us From His Love
We all go through those times in our lives when nothing seems to go right. We may lose our jobs, or someone we love dies. We may be having marital difficulties, or a financial crisis. There are times when God seems to have abandoned us. We cry the prayer of our Lord on the cross: "My God, why have you forsaken me!"
It is during these times of crisis that we can't seem to hear the voice of God. We start to feel that maybe He's abandoned us. It is irrational, but we start to think that He's no longer on our side. Maybe, because of some sin in our lives He's no longer for us, but has turned against us.
I. God is at Work In Our Lives
It is during these dark nights of the soul that we need to remember the truth of Romans 8, that God is indeed for us!. He hasn't abandoned us, or forsaken us in any way, if we belong to Him by faith in Jesus Christ. As a matter of fact, He's in control of the situation. There isn't anything that's happening to us that He hasn't allowed to come into our lives for our ultimate good. Hear the words of Paul:
"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestine to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the fristborn among many brethren. And these whom He predestined, He also called. And these whom He called, He also justified, and these whom He justified He also glorified" (Romans 8:28-30).
The believer was predestined since before the foundation of the world to belong to the Lord and the Lord is working in His life to make Him like Jesus Christ Himself. Another passage, Philippians 1:6, tells us this:
"For I am confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ."
Perfecting here is the idea of bringing something to completion. It is God who has saved you, and it is He who will bring that salvation to completion when Jesus Christ returns. That is a promise from His Word.
II. God's Work Cannot be Thwarted
If God has chosen us, and is working in us to make us like Jesus Christ, then He will not leave us or forsake us no matter what happens. He is in complete control. Nothing has taken Him by surprise. It is all a part of His eternal plan for our lives. With all that being said, Paul asks a lot of rhetorical questions. in the next few verses. Rhetorical questions are those that have obvious answers. He asks:
"What shall we say then 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 shall He not also with Him freely give us all things? Who will bring a charge against God's elect? God is the one who justifies? Who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus who died, yes rather, who was raised from the dead, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us" (8:31-34).
The only ones who can ever condemn us are God the Father, and God the Son. God the Father loved us so much He sent His Son to earth to save us. And Jesus, God the Son, died for our sins. Not only that, but He acts as our advocate, speaking to the Father on our behalf. God's work of Salvation cannot be thwarted. He will bring it to completion.
Paul then asks the ultimate rhetorical question: "Who will separate us from the love of Christ? And then he gives a number of scenarios that someone might think would be a sign of God's abandonment. They include: tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, or peril, or sword. In other words nothing on this earth that we can ever suffer from will lead to God abandoning us. And these things aren't a sign of God's abandonment. But rather, in these things we overwhelmingly conquer.
Finally the Apostle, once and for all, tells us that nothing in heaven or earth, or all of creation, can ever take away God's love for us which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (8:38,39). It doesn't matter how you may feel at the moment. It doesn't matter what you've done, or what anyone or anything has done. God's will for you absolutely, positively cannot be hindered. And His will for you is ultimately that you be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ
A.W. Tozer once wrote: "The whole outlook of mankind might be changed if we could all believe that we dwell under a friendly sky and that the God of heaven, though exalted in power and majesty, is eager to be friends with us."
What a comfort to know that God has a plan for my life. I may feel that I've failed Him and think that He has stopped loving me. I may think that He couldn't possibly take the situation that I'm in right now and bring anything good out of it. But, as the song says: "My God is so big, so strong and so mighty, there's nothing my God cannot do." It is a comfort to know that I belong to Him through faith in Jesus Christ. All that belong to Him are safe in His loving arms forever.
Chris Tomlin on Our God
© 2012 Jeff Shirley