KEY TEXT: Romans 8:31-39 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised— who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, "For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered." No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure 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.
KEY THOT: Romans 8:31-39 is the peak of the book of Romans. The glory of the Gospel reaches its highest point in these last few verses: "If God is for us, who can be against us?" (v.31). From the depravity of sins in Romans 1:18-32 to deliverance from sins in Romans 4-7, we have been transformed by the Spirit from condemned sinners to reign with Christ as conquering saints: "No, in all things, we are more than conquerors through him who loved us" (v.37). We need to recognize that in Christ we are children of God who call God "Abba! Father". We are now seated in the heavenly glory with Christ as our elder Brother, for he is "the firstborn among many brothers (and sisters)" (v.29). We have to stop looking back at our past as sinners and strangers to the covenants, but in Christ, we are "new creations" (2 Cor 5:17) who are conquerors because we share Christ's victory at the Cross and his authority in the heavenly realm.
Paul makes an astounding claim about our privileged position: "If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?" (v.31-32). Think about it: If God did not withhold from us his one and only Son, how can we ever feel that God has short-changed us? Just to think of the sacrifice of His Son is proof enough that God will never short-change His children born of the Spirit, not of the flesh. So, if God will not withhold someone who is nearest and dearest to him (Jesus Christ), what else will withhold from us that is good for us?
Remember that even when we are going through trials and tribulations, it is for our good: "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers" (v.28-29). From God's eternal perspective, what is "good" is not the comfortable "good life" many Christians in affluent societies are pursuing. What is good from God's perspective is that we are being conformed to the image of his Son.
It's not what we achieve in this life that matters to God but rather what we have become in the process. Unfortunately, suffering in trials and tribulations are part of hte process to mold our character in that direction. Like grinding and cutting diamonds, the process is sometime uncomfortable.
The assurance of victory of our faith is that "we know that for those who love God, all things work together for good for those who are called according to his purpose." The conditions for this victory are (1) we love God and (2) that we are called according to his purpose. If we love God more than Money, and are seeking first His kingdom and righteousness, then we can rest assured nothing that happens to us can make us bitter--only better.
Abba-Father, what a privilege to walk with You because You have promised to be with us through every trial. Thank You that nothing will separate us from Your love. Amen.