Rom 8:31-39 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? (32) 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? (33) Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. (34) 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. (35) Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? (36) As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded 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 sure 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.
This present world is enemy territory. Christ’s people are in exile. We are in Babylon, but…there is a great final Exodus coming. We will never see Pharaoh and his chariots ever again. Christ our King is coming.
The Apostle Paul in the scripture above describes our experience in this world whose god is Satan. Christ’s flock is falsely accused, persecuted, in danger, exposed for their faith to famine…sheep to be slaughtered. It is the very same path Jesus walked when He was in this place.
But…no matter what weapons the enemy fires against us, we win. We are victors. Why? Because our King is Victor. Paul emphasizes the great truth that God in Christ loves us forever. This is the thing we must learn from this passage. God loves His people. If I am in Christ, the Father loves me.
Furthermore, this divine fatherly love can never cease. It is impossible. Nothing can separate us from it. This is the thing we must believe. No matter what suffering comes at you, no matter how intensely we are hated, no matter how painful the circumstances we experience, none of it means that God does not love us anymore. Nothing, nothing, nothing can separate us from the love of God.
And because God loves us, He is going to carry us through to the end, and it is a glorious end. Nothing can stop it. He is going to bring us safely home. And what a home it is! Eden restored and even surpassed!
Job was the most godly man in the world in his day. Yet consider the great loss and suffering that came to him. We know why this happened – God would be glorified and Satan would be humiliated. Job didn’t know. He did not have the “behind the scenes” glimpse that we are given in the opening chapters of the book. But Job knew something. He knew that God loved him and he held on to that truth. It carried him through. He had all those “friends” telling him that God didn’t love him, that God was punishing him for some wrong he had done. But it wasn’t true at all. God wasn’t punishing him. Job did in fact learn some things in that fire. He learned more about God and he learned that he needed to learn some things God taught him in it. He was, we would say, sanctified through suffering.
If a righteous man like Job suffered in this world, if God loved him unceasingly through it all, if in the end it was for God’s glory, Satan’s defeat, and Job’s growth in holiness, then surely we must not be surprised when the Lord permits suffering to come our way. It IS suffering. It DOES hurt and it is grievous. But it is the path our Lord walked in this world and it is always for our good and for God’s glory, and it always ends in victory.
These are the truths we must cling to in the midst of trials. That is to say, we must believe God’s Word which says He loves us now and forever and in all circumstances if we are in Christ.
1Jn 5:4-5 For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. (5) Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?