Are you all as thankful as I am that it’s Friday? Few things bring as much mental joy and relief as knowing a relaxing weekend is awaiting you in just a few hours. Sleep. Movies. Dinner out perhaps? Whatever rests your soul, I hope you get to enjoy it this weekend.
I can think of something that does bring more mental joy and relief than the weekend, however. It is something that lasts more than 2 1/2 days a week and is not contingent on plans going the way you hoped. It is something that I have been clinging to lately and have treasured its great worth. What exactly am I referring to? Well I’m glad you asked! This valuable gem I speak of is the peace, truth and power that comes from a familiar promise of God. After a series of unusual events earlier this week, the uncertainty and exhaustion of more interviews, and the reminder of how much evil is in this world, these words rang through my mind, and penetrated my heart. They have brought me countless moments of comfort, an unshakable foundation of confidence, and a rejuvenated desire to chase after the purpose God has created me for. Having said that, it would be utterly selfish of me to keep these words of God to myself and not share them with you. For they were not just intended to give me freedom, life, and strength, but they were intended for you as well. Once the love of God touches your life, you cannot help but to want others to know it too, and you cannot help the heartbreak you feel for those who don’t. Just as we have the choice to decide who or what we trust in, we have the choice to live in bondage, fear, intimidation, and defeat, or in freedom, courage, strength, and victory of which no one can take away.
The words of God that resounded in my mind where these: “If God is with us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31. These words were written by a man named Paul who fought fearlessly to spread the truth about Jesus Christ in the midst of persecution, imprisonment, hunger, and the continual threat of death. For most of Paul’s life he lived as an extremely devout, self-righteous Jew who hated the man named Jesus and made it his mission to kill all people who professed to believe Jesus was the son of God. It was not until Paul had a physical encounter with the Spirit of God that he could no longer deny the truth of who Jesus was. Paul became a changed man who knew his purpose was to spend the rest of his life on earth telling others about the salvation, forgiveness, and life that comes from Jesus Christ alone. Paul was the first to admit how sinful, wretched, and guilty of a man he was, yet he also understood that all because of Christ’s death on the cross, the worst sinners could be forgiven forever and seen as clean and righteous in the eyes of God. Because Paul preached the truth of God fearlessly, he was hated by many Jews and wanted dead. They were able to make the comfort level of his life on earth what we would most likely consider miserable. Constantly on the move, very little food, imprisoned, and chased by those who wanted him dead, Paul knew persecution and humanly fear. Yet what he knew even more was the power of God, the love of God, and the strength that came from the one and only true God. It was from this knowledge and experience that Paul spoke those powerful, spirit-filled words: “If God is with us, who can be against us?”
I have found myself asking that question. Asking if I believe that if God is on my side, who in the world or in the depths of hell, can be stronger than He? Why do I begin to fear man’s approval and labeling of me? Why do I allow fear to creep in and grip me? Why do I fear my failure in life? I am not left to fight on my own. When I chose to become a child of God, I signed on to have the biggest, strongest, most powerful, all-knowing, fiercely loving Father protect me. If you have always imaged God as a soft, quiet and impersonal being just floating about in a white robe, you are sadly mistaken. We are told in the word that our God is a jealous God, desiring the love and loyalty of His people and fighting fiercely for us. My God fights for me. He fights what I cannot see. He fights off danger and evil. He fights off doubt, lies, and the power of darkness. He clears the path for me and guides me with his hand. What He asks me to do, he gives 100% of what I need to fulfill His command. Though persecution, suffering, and pain may come my way, no one can be against me.
This promise of God goes on to say: “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. ” Romans 8:32-39
I love that. Nothing can separate us from the love of God. Although everything else us can be taken from us, the love of God never can. No matter what may happen to me, I know my destiny. I have no reason to fear, or to give fear power over my life. Nothing can separate me from the love of God. As imperfect as I am, no one can come along and change the Lord’s plan for my life with God on my side. Nor can they yours. That is not a promise of continual security as we know it, or the promise of long life, or the promise of good health. But it is the promise that what is most important and fundamental – the love of God, salvation, His hand in our life – can never be taken away. The implications of that can be hard to swallow, but it is true nonetheless. I do not need to fear man; their actions, words, judgments. I do not need to fear failing and allow it to hold me back. I do not need to fear evil and allow myself to think about all the “what ifs”. If God is on my side, who can be against me?
Are you letting fear live in your heart and mind? Is it taking you captive? Fight back friends. Christ came to give us life and give it to the fullest.