35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?36As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers,39nor 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. —Romans 8:35-39
I think a lot of Christians struggle in life when we try to live for Him in the world. We end up feeling like, “Don’t You see me over here, Lord? Don’t You see me trying to stand up for You, working to build the Church and reach the people?” Somebody comes along with harsh criticism and suddenly we cry out, “Aren’t You going to take care of us? Do You see the price that we’re paying to do these things for You?”
And God answers, “Yes, I see.”
That’s why Romans 8:35 says, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall . . . persecution?” No. “Or famine, or nakedness?” (That’s extreme poverty) “Or danger?” There could even be some physical harm. “Or sword?” What about people who give their life for the Gospel? Does God love them? Yes! Has God abandoned anyone? No, God’s children believe God’s ways are perfect, and “for those who love Godall things work together for good”(Romans 8:28).
So God’s love defines my identity. Not people, not problems, not persecution. I can’t be separated from His love.
You may be saying, “Well James, I agree God loves us. I know people and situations shouldn’t dislodge my confidence in God’s love for me, but the fact is, they do. It’s wrong, but it happens. I buy into this message of God’s love, but on Wednesday, when my boss comes into my office and goes off the handle again . . .” or “someone in my home,” or “somebody in my past. I’m just telling you, James, I feel it now, but sometimes in the middle of the week it’s not happening for me. I feel separated from His love.”
Make a note of this: Reject reaction, review reality. Because there is a fleshly tendency, as soon as a hardship comes, to say, “Oh God, You couldn’t possibly love me and let this happen.” That’s my reaction. So I need to reject my reaction, and I need to review the reality of what is actually true—Romans 8:38-39. Nothing can separate us from God’s love. You might want to keep your finger in Romans 8 for at least ten years! Or better, memorize these verses!—James MacDonald
Prayer - Lord, what an amazing reality to meditate on throughout this season; nothing can separate me from Your love! Thank You for making that possible and maintaining Your love for me. Thank You for the faithfulness of Your Word to disarm my feelings and keep me focused on You. You and Your truth are always greater than anything I might feel. Teach me to love You back with everything I have! In Jesus’ name, Amen.