One of my FAVORITE passages follows:
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? … Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? … No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure 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. Romans 8: 31-32, 35, 37-39
My favorite part is verse 32 (in the first italics) which essential says that any circumstance that God allows (brings to bear) in my life – no matter how tough – is borne by the same love that carried Jesus to the Cross. So that means Jesus is loving me in ALL circumstances, doing what’s for my good (Romans 8: 28).
What is my good? To know the love of Jesus better and better, to draw closer and closer to Him. And because of the Cross, nothing can separate us from His love!
That leads to a lesson I just relearned on Sunday (Thanks, John Piper!). None of these terrible circumstances that happen to us – from tribulation to sword, from death to depth – not even our own sin – NOTHING can separate us from the love of Jesus.
The Cross justified us before God so that we will never, ever lose His love.
Instead, we are MORE than conquerors in these situations. When we conquer them, we defeat them – they can’t defeat us. When we MORE than conquerors, these circumstances become our servants.
No matter how hard the situation, God can use it to point us to Jesus, to know His love more deeply. Our sorrows become gifts (borne by the love of the Cross) to somehow draw us closer to His heart.
Just like the sorrow of the Cross became the greatest gift ever given.
What a great set of truths!!
Dear Lord: You know the sorrowful situation in which I find myself. And I got so convicted reading The Hiding Place (where Betsie thanks you for fleas!) that I need to thank you for this circumstance no matter how I feel. My troubles are all borne by your love. They are my servants to help me draw closer to You. Help each trouble bear the fruit of greater intimacy with You, Lord. Amen