Two important questions, two important answers

Romans asks two of the most important questions a believer in Christ can ever ask.

  • The first asks if anything can separate us from Christ.
  • The second asks if bad circumstances mean Christ has separated us from His love.

The first question is a fear that someone or something can cut the believer’s bond to Christ.  The second question comes from a fear that bad troubles in this life may mean Christ has decided to cut the bond to His believers . . . perhaps because He has forgotten about us?  Romans shows God as actively aware of where we are, and fully engaged in saving us.

Do you ever feel like life is a roller coaster without a seat belt?  Do you ever find yourself struggling to find the safety bar that seems to be missing from the ride?  Do you ever fear you are going to “fall out”–go bankrupt, get a divorce, lose the respect of your kids, fall out of favor with your friends, lose your job . . etc?  If we look at God as another relationship we can “lose”, the coaster of life becomes sheer terror, nothing but dread and anticipation as the ride ascends and fear and horror with every plunge.

What about God’s gifts?  Do you ever secretly fear He’s holding back on you?  Do you ever think that maybe God doesn’t really have what’s best for you?  Have you ever heard someone say “I know what’s best for you” when they clearly didn’t?  Do you sometimes wonder if this is maybe so with God?  That maybe He’s more invested in your righteousness than His love for you?  Do you ever feel confused or frightened about what you think God has in store for you?  If we look at God as a “withholder” of good, the coaster of life becomes a ride of dread, anxiety, heartburn, and high blood pressure, with the whole focus of life being what happens after the ride (Heaven) rather than God’s work now.

But thanks to God, we don’t have to ask these questions.  He gives us the answers–clearly–in Romans 8.  If you are seeking answers to what feel like impossible questions, check out His love for His people (anyone who repents and turns to Christ for forgiveness and a new life) in Romans.  Life doesn’t have to be a panic.  We can live in the exhilarating rush of His love, and be carried by the peace in His Word through the plunges.  But if we want to do so, we have to know how He answers our questions, and we have to believe Him when He gives us the answers.  And the only way we can do that is by faith as we open the Word of God.

For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And having called them, he gave them right standing with himself. And having given them right standing, he gave them his glory.

What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself. Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.

Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”) No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:29-39, NLT)

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