While we’re in this lockdown, at the end of each chapter in Luke, we’ll take a day to reflect on how God steadies us in these difficult times.
Romans 8:35-39 (NLT)
“Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? 36 (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.” – Psalm 44:22) 37 No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.
38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
I think these verses are in the top favourites of mine. There is really nothing more I can say about these verses. They state so clearly that God loves me. There is nothing that can happen, or that I can do, that will stop God from loving me. In this pandemic time, the phrase that stands out to me is “neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow … can separate us from God’s love”.
Stop for a moment and think about the loving relationships you have had in your life. We live in a broken world, so even the best relationships can have some rocky times. But think about the love your parents had for you, and all the crazy things you did that they overlooked because they loved you. Think about the love you shared with your siblings and your friends. Think about the love you have for your partner, your children. Despite the ups and downs of our human relationships, we tend to do as much as we can to make them flourish. We don’t ignore them or do things we know will upset them a lot. We usually go out of our way to show them we love them. Yet our love on earth is flawed, but God’s isn’t.
God is perfect, God Almighty. God says NOTHING can separate us from his love. If you are struggling with the isolation and frustration of living with all these restrictions, remember that you are loved and cherished by God. He will not abandon you or ignore you. Let’s reread these verses again in the paraphrase from The Message.
“So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us? And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God’s chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger? The One who died for us—who was raised to life for us!—is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture:
They kill us in cold blood because they hate you.
We’re sitting ducks; they pick us off one by one.
None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.”
Song for today: The Love of God by Mercy Me