It’s when we feel we’ve reached our lowest point yet, or when death is approaching those we love that we call to mind the words of Romans 8:35-39:
“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.”
The powerful words of this passage resonate with us when we feel attacked and lost. In those times, it strikes us that all we have to cling to is our Lord. So we take great comfort in the truth that nothing can separate us from His love.
We know that death and demons and all the “negatives” listed can put great stress on our relationship with God. When we face those circumstances and forces, we recognize the danger and our need for the comfort of His promise. But we so easily overlook another truth subtly outlined in this passage: life, angels, the present, and the heights of creation are all able to form wedges between us and the love of God. Yet all these “positives” are no match for the glory of our Lord.
1. Life nor Death
Can life test our faith as much as death? Yes. We are so easily caught up in our busy schedules, our desires, and the many things we consider important. Excessive focus on life in this world so quickly leads us from a right perspective of God. Solomon had it right: “everything under the sun is meaningless” (Ecclesiastes 1:14). Everything under God, however, is worthwhile. “Life” as we live it cannot get in the way of His love.
2. Angels nor Demons
Heavenly beings and influences, like miracles or specific calls on our lives, so often bewilder and beguile us. Our righteousness and spiritual blessings, just as much as our encounters with evil, can be twisted to divert our praise and our goals. But God’s love is greater than our spiritual experiences.
3. Present nor Future
For the worriers of the world, the future is always an ominous fear. For dreamers of the world, the present is never quite satisfying. Each of us in our unique personalities and outlooks is easily swayed in some way by the perception of time. Our Lord set time in motion and is sovereign over all things in all times (Genesis 1, 2 Peter 3:8).
4. Height nor Depth
Sharing “highs and lows” is popular in youth groups. Everyone understands the basic concept: some things in life are “highs” –they are great and exciting. Others are “lows”- full of pain and difficulty. Our Lord isn’t just with us and active when we recognize that we need Him in the “depths” of life. He is at work in the “highs”. Praise the Lord that no matter how great things seem, we are never separated from the giver of all good things (James 1:17).
Truly nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord –not the worst of times, and certainly not the best of times. He doesn’t just show up in our tragedies. God is raising up as His children through our most glorious moments and seasons. Praise the Lord!