This is one of my favorite passages of scripture! I am so glad I get to spend some time with you contemplating what God is saying! Romans 8:35-39 "35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Over the last several days I have had conversations about how when bad things happen it makes it harder to believe in a good God! In fact, this is one of the key objections people of our time and culture have with our christian understanding of God. The account this week of the girl in Colorado that was brutally murdered was the catalyst for one of my friends to reengage the question "Can there be a good God when so many bad things happen?"! Last Sunday the account of John the Baptist's death really brought to the forefront the reality of evil at work in our world simultaneously with God at work in our world in the person of Jesus. How can the two be at work at the same time?
With this frame of mind I read the above verses this morning and saw something new - something slightly different than I had seen before! I always got the "more than conquerors" bit - but this morning I noticed how Paul viewed the "bad stuff" that had happened to him. He did not see the "bad stuff" as evidence that there was not a good God. He saw the "bad stuff" as the context - the literal battefield of life where the "goodness of God" - the "love of God" won its greatest victiories. He saw the "troubles, hardships, persecutions, nakedness, dangers or swords (Iam assuming he means some sort of violent evil) - as the very situations where he witnessed the conquering love of Christ winning the day! Perhaps, it is only in this context that the true depth of the love of God - the conquering love of God can be truly embraced, experienced and ultimately known! Hmmmm!
I know that in our marriage, Dawn and I share a strong love - not because of the awesome candlelight dinners, or numerous perfectly romantic caribbean cruises (hasn't been too many of them) - rather we know our love is strong because we have walked through a lot together over the last 30 years. We know that even with disagreements, quarrels, losses, devastations, worry, disappointments, deaths, accidents, injuries, sicknesses, hurtful words, forgotten anniversaries, heartbreaking conversations ----- we still are in love with each other. Love forges security into our relationships not so much in the times of tranquility as in the furnace of challenge.
You and I get to live today as "more than conquerors through Him who loved us" with a conquering love forged in the furnace of real life - and real death - and real resurrection!
I have some things to think about today! Maybe some new lenses to look at my life today through!
What about you?