May 29

MAY 29
by Joe Hill
Romans 8:35-39 says,
35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered 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 convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 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.
One of the things I love about reading the letters of the apostle Paul is that he walked the walk. His deep love for Jesus inspired him to do great things, but it also led him to and through many difficult times. Romans 8:35 does not contain an arbitrary list of challenging experiences that some people might have: it contains a list of Paul’s personal experiences. Paul was not an ivory tower Christian, writing intellectual letters from the comfort of his home. He wrote about what he knew, and one thing he knew well was hardship. 2 Corinthians 11:23-28 contains an incomplete list of his sufferings. And so these words of Paul have some gravitas for me.
Paul’s experience of hardship is a reminder to him that, in Christ, he has already overcome these things- he is already victorious in Christ Jesus who won victory over sin, death and the power of the Devil through the Cross and the empty tomb. And so it is with those whose faith is in Christ today. You are victorious in Christ over the challenges of life, even in the midst of the challenges of life, because the one who calls you His own has already defeated death. If we cannot be separated from Christ’s love, then that means that He is with you through all things.
Brothers and Sisters in Christ, we are loved so dearly by our God. So much so that nothing can separate you from Him. Nothing in all of creation is stronger than the love that God has for you in Christ Jesus.

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