Encouraged

Paul’s letter to the Romans brims over with truth that encourages and exhorts us. In Chapter 8 he ends with absolute confidence in the love of God.

35 So who can separate us? What can come between us and the love of God’s Anointed? Can troubles, hardships, persecution, hunger, poverty, danger, or even death? The answer is, absolutely nothing.

38 For I have every confidence that nothing—not death, life, heavenly messengers, dark spirits, the present, the future, spiritual powers, 39 height, depth, nor any created thing—can come between us and the love of God revealed in the Anointed, Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:35, 38-39

Consider verse 35. We all have troubles and hardships. Some of them are bigger than others but not one of us lives a trouble free life and Paul declares those troubles cannot come between us and God’s love. Most of those reading this have never known true persecution. The worst we might suffer is mockery or exclusion. But life-threatening or pride-threatening no persecution can separate us from that love we are promised in Christ. Hunger, poverty, danger and death – these are nothing compared to the love of God.

He repeats this in verses 38-39. Paul is confident, absolutely sure, certain, unshakable about the truth that nothing created (and all things except God are created) can come between you and me and the love of God.

Where did Paul get this confidence from? How did he know with such certainty that God’s love would endure through and surpass every challenge? He’s not talking about our love for God which, as we all know from experience, can wax and wane depending on the circumstances. He is talking with such rock-solid confidence about the fact that God’s love for us will never let go.

His confidence grew from having been beaten, shipwrecked and chased out of cities. His sureness came from seeing God’s guiding hand and provision as he travelled across Asia Minor and Greece. Over and over in his letters, he tells of the steadfastness of God’s love in ways that ring of truth because he has lived by it day after day.

It’s always best to be taught by someone who has ‘done it’. If you want to learn to sail it’s wise to learn from a sailor, not someone who ‘read a book once’. Paul has ‘been there, done that’ and experienced God’s love constant and unchanging in good and bad situations. We can trust that what God did for him He will do for us because that’s who God is.

Maybe you have an experience of God’s love that helps you endure and have faith that He will be true to His word. Share it with others to encourage them.

Maybe you don’t and you find yourself doubting God will do what He says. Find someone who can build your faith with theirs. We are in this together.

Paul wrote to encourage us but he urges us to encourage each other. Look for an opportunity to do that today!

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