By D'Ann Mateer
“What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31
Do you have verses of passages of Scripture that you know, but you don’t know them within the context of the verses that surround them? That happens to me all the time. Then I’ll find myself reading along and think, “I didn’t realize how those two things fit together!” Like pieces of a puzzle they fall into place.
Romans 8 was like that for me this week. Not that I haven’t read Romans 8. At one time or another, I’ve even memorized most of it! But somehow the juxtaposition of verses struck me new.
Just a few verses before the rally cry of “if God is for us, who can be against us” is that hard but hopeful verse 28. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”
Even in my knowing that God is working all things for my good (which, by the way, He explains in the next verse that my “good” is being conformed to the image of Christ, not my happiness or my comfort, not my own plans or desires) , I forget the real victory in that. If God is for me, who can be against me? In other words, who can oppose His purposes in my life?
The answer? No one! Whether the Lord walks me through a difficult time, either some consequence of my own sin or some circumstances that I didn’t create, whether He grants or denies my petitions and requests, whether He asks me to wait for a short time or a long one, no one and nothing can thwart the true purposes of God in my life. To conform me to the image of His son. For that conforming is what is ultimately for my good and for His glory.
Obvious, I know, but often the little things trip me up and slow me down. What about you? Are you discouraged today? Weary? Joyful? Frustrated? Content? In all of those things can you find the place where the Lord is doing His work in you, no matter how small? For He is working in it all.
He is for us, not against us. He is shaping us, not destroying us. There is no slip of the chisel in His hand.
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