In the book of Romans 8: 35, Apostle Paul asks a very vital question, which I think all Christians should from time to time ask themselves on this journey of faith.
Romans 8:35 (NLT)
35. 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?
He then goes on to answer these questions in verses 38-39 saying:
Romans 8:38-39( NLT)
38. 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.
39. 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.
As Christians many a time, our faith is tested. In fact we go through life dealing with issues that make us question God’s purpose and why he allows calamities befall us. For many people, the absence of problems is a testimony of God’s love, and the opposite means maybe God doesn’t love them so much. As per the latter, nothing could be farther from the truth.
In the same Romans 8( this entire chapter is so powerful and full of knowlegde, I admonish you to please take time to read and meditate on it), we are told clearly that:
28. And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.
Thinking about verse 28 above when we are going through hard times, is a reminder that God loves us, as we often tend to forget what Apostle paul says just 10 verses after in Romans 38-39. Verse 28 reminds us that even the bad times we experience is according to God’s plan, and it in no way means that God doesn’t love us. The true test of faith is not when things are good, but when life challenges us. It is then that we can express our love back to him by still being devout, reminding our selves that bad times is not an indication that he no longer loves us. If anything, he is helping us build our faith, and strengthening our character.
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In trying times, we need to remind our selves of his love, understanding that when our faith is tested, our endurance as human beings grow. And when our endurance grows, so does our character such that we become stoic, unfazed by adversities and attached to nothing but God . What this does is that we have joy anchored solely on God when things are good, and when not so good, we are ok, because we still have joy.
3. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.
4. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.
The attitude I am learning to embrace and hope that you can do same is asking God when life throws unpleasant situations my way what he wants me to learn from it. I also ask him to remind me of his love and help me get through it. And he always comes through, always. Because that is who he is, reliable, dependable and understanding.
The result is, these days I find myself unmoved by being broke or not achieving yet certain things I had hoped to before now because God reminds me of his love by giving me PEACE. He also reminds me of Romans 8:28 quoted above and Ephesians 3:20 which says:
Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.
So if God can do beyond what I ask for, and all things good or bad work for my good because he loves me, then nothing should daunt or unnerve me. And from my personal experience, nothing beats peace of mind and calm in these trying life situations. And this peace for me is a reminder of God’s unconditional love.
So I admonish us today to meditate on these verses on God’s love, knowing that even when we have trouble or calamity, are condemned for our beliefs or stand, are broke or hungry, looked down on or destitute, in danger, or threatened by death, God loves us regardless. The circumstances we find ourselves does not in anyway negate his love. He wants us to emerge stronger, having faith that even if things don’t end in our favour ( the worse being that we die), he still loves us because even death can’t separate us from his love. This life is just a phase.
When we have this type of faith, it pleases God, and pleasing him should be our priority as Christians, especially considering the sacrifice of Jesus for our sins. And even when we are deep in sin( will talk about this in part 2) he loves us still, and never abandons us. Such is God’s unconditional love!
I pray that going forward, we will have more the inclination from the Holy Spirit to meditate on these verses, especially in trying times, and have peace anchored on God’s love no matter what, Amen.
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