31 What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us? 32 He who did not withhold his own Son, but gave him up for all of us, will he not with him also give us everything else? 33 Who will bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? It is Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us.[w] 35 Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written,
“For your sake we are being killed all day long;
we are accounted 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, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 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.
Recently I found myself reading and reflecting on the eighth chapter of the book of Romans. This chapter probably ranks in my top twenty chapters in all of scripture. From start to finish it gives me some reasons for hopeful thoughts. And the way it ends puts worry into perspective:
Who or what will ever separate us from God’s love and its power to transform every aspect of the world?
Will hardship, distress, or famine ultimately rule our lives? No.
Will nakedness, peril, persecution, or violence control us? No.
All of these forces, visible and invisible, may sway us, but it is God who holds and controls us. And God’s plan for us is to live our lives fully in God’s loving purpose.
So, like Paul, our hope is expressed in a fabulous statement of faith:
I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 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.
If I face each day holding to that truth, hope prevails!
Thank you, God, for Your un-ending love. Amen.