I know, the title of this post quotes Romans 8:31 incorrectly. It and the verse following should read:
“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?” (NASB)
But before we get to a place of such confidence in the midst of adversity, we must know deep in our heart of hearts that our heavenly Father is indeed for us, and that the Holy Spirit is in our corner, not only cheering us on, but interceding for our every need to be met.
For a small percentage of us, this is a no brainer. Growing up in a stable family with loving parents always there for support, it makes obvious sense that God would do the same. This is especially true for those who also experienced a loving church environment where a healthy perspective of the heavenly Father was both taught and displayed. This small number of people (and unfortunately I believe it is quite small), seem to traverse the challenges of life like gifted athletes tirelessly and speedily covering long distances.
But when the rest of us attempt to run by faith, it often feels as though every joint and muscle in our bodies throbs with pain as we get knocked about by various forces. And when we survey the landscape before us, well, it sure looks as though God is nowhere to be seen; the corner of our ring, it appears, is empty. I mean, after all, if He is all-powerful, and all-loving, and is truly for us, then surely our circumstances would be different.
May we never forget that the image of an absentee God is but an illusion! And if Christianity is all about a relationship with Him and not mere religious activity, wouldn’t it make sense that we need an accurate perspective of who He truly is and how He sees us?
Abiding in grace is really about abiding, that is, living in a vital relationship with, Christ. If we are ever to live fruitfully in this type of intimate relationship with our heavenly Father, we had better know something about Him as a person and how this relationship works (and doesn’t work). If we continually focus on our sin, for example, we become self-absorbed, no longer living by faith.
When we live by faith, we put the appropriate confidence in both the cross of Christ and God’s character, aligning our lives with His divine order. Meanwhile, all of the forces of hell (and some of earth) continue to work overtime to keep us from living in His presence. But as long as we choose to abide, no force in this universe can separate us from His love!
“Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written,
“FOR YOUR SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT TO DEATH ALL DAY LONG;
WE WERE CONSIDERED AS SHEEP TO BE SLAUGHTERED.”
But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:33-39 (NASB)
Our loving heavenly Father has already paid the ultimate price in delivering His own Son over to be brutally tortured and killed on our behalf. What else more can He do to demonstrate His love. It seems to me that the appropriate response to our difficulties in life is not to respond by asking where God may have gotten to, or to wallow in our unworthiness, but to actively believe He is continually working on our behalf–even if we don’t see it. If we want faith that matters, this is where it starts!