Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will affliction or distress or persecution or famine or nakedness or peril or sword? As it is written…No, in all these things we are more than victorious through him who loved us. For I am convinced 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.
How good are you at awfulizing? If you are the least bit like me then you are pretty creative at imagining the most awful things that could happen to you. You get your exercise mountain climbing molehills, predicting the worst in most any situation. It is this type of ‘stinkin thinkin’ that makes us miserable.
That is why I am drawn to today’s scripture in which the apostle Paul does some awfulizing. He creatively comes up with the worst things that could happen to you or me, showing God’s love triumphant in every one of the situations.
I take my highlighter to this passage and underscore the things we might fear shattering our lives. It’s all there! Paul lists: – PERSECUTION – FAMINE – SWORD – SLAUGHTER – DEATH – ANGELS – RULERS – THINGS PRESENT – THINGS TO COME. As if Paul thinks he has not awfulized enough, he throws in “anything else in all creation” coming at us. But then, having come up with all of life’s real or imagined catastrophes, Paul happily writes across them: “nothing will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord”.
But…but…but… what if we are unfaithful to God in our troubles? What if we sin against God’s ever faithful love? Again, the apostle Paul steps in to put to rest all of our awfulizing: “If we are faithless, God remains faithful – for he cannot deny himself” (2 Timothy 2:13). The cross proves it! God stops at nothing to pour out His love on you and me. God cannot stop being what He is: Love (1 John 4:8).
In a world where there are so many things we do not know or can be sure of, here is something we know for sure: NOTHING “will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” This is real victory!
A fellow traveler,