Monday, November 30
Victors rather than victims
Scripture: Romans 5-8
Romans 8:35–39 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? 36 (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”) 37 No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.
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.
What a majestic passage!
Can anything every separate us from Christ’s love? No! Nothing! Paul lists many things that he and others were currently experiencing: trouble, calamity, persecution, hunger, poverty, danger, threats of death, death itself. These were not theoretical—they were experiencing these things, as is clear from his quote in v. 36. And yet, in spite of all this, they had overwhelming victory through Christ.
The victory wasn’t that these hardships were eliminated, but that Christ’s love carried them through without fail. God’s presence, grace, strength, hope and love were ever present right through the most difficult things.
These months of pandemic have been difficult on many fronts: financially, socially, spiritually, psychologically, and physically. It’s time to remember that nothing can separate us from Christ’s love—not even this pandemic with it’s side effects—and that His love will carry us through this to the other side, whatever that may look like. We can be victors through His love rather than victims.
I just finished two books about the Holocaust. I couldn’t help but compare our situation to theirs—Jewish victims in the death camps. Millions lost their lives. Many of those who survived lost their faith. But some emerged with their faith intact…amazing! It was a strong reminder to me that our suffering is small by comparison, and God’s love in Christ is more than able to sustain us and bring us through with our faith intact!
Prayer: I pray for me, for my family and friends, for our church, and for believers everywhere that we would lean into the love of God in Christ, and that His love would sustain us through our hardship. Make us victors in Christ, rather than victims.