Ask God to orient or reorient you to Himself. Confess any known sin. Thank Him for His forgiveness. Be still and reflect on Jesus and His sacrifice for you. Ask the Holy Spirit to open your heart and mind to God’s Word. Pray for others in your life that they, too, would know and love God today.
“31 What, then, Shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 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? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is He that condemns? 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. 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.”
Christ loved you and me so much that He willingly died for us and now pleads for us. Because of His great love for us, we can be confident that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ, not even suffering. The Christian walk is a tough one; suffering will come at some point. In fact, that’s what Paul already wrote about earlier in the chapter. I think it’s important to point out that Paul was very aware of what suffering for Jesus looked like.
He had experienced suffering firsthand…read about what he suffered through for the gospel:
“I know I sound like a madman, but I have served Him [Christ] far more! I have worked harder, been put in prison more often, been whipped times without number, and faced death again and again. 24 Five different times the Jewish leaders gave me thirty-nine lashes. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked. Once I spent a whole night and a day adrift at sea. 26 I have traveled on many long journeys. I have faced danger from rivers and from robbers. I have faced danger from my own people, the Jews, as well as from the Gentiles. I have faced danger in the cities, in the deserts, and on the seas. And I have faced danger from men who claim to be believers but are not. 27 I have worked hard and long, enduring many sleepless nights. I have been hungry and thirsty and have often gone without food. I have shivered in the cold, without enough clothing to keep me warm (2 Cor. 11:23-27).”
Yes, Paul knew what it was to suffer for the cause of Christ. He learned by experience that suffering—no matter how bad it was—could not separate the believer from Christ. Suffering is a natural and expected part of the Christian life.
So the question for us is this: Can there conceivably be a contradiction between Christ’s love for His own and His allowing suffering to overtake them? Should we question whether Christ’s love has grown cold?
The answer is a resounding—No! It’s no more thinkable than that the Father ceased to love His Son when He allowed Him to endure the agonies of the cross, apparently forsaken. Christ predicted trouble for His people who are left in the world, but told them to be of good cheer because He had overcome the world (John 16:33).
Suffering has always been the lot of the godly, and therefore their own situation is not peculiar. People of God in the OT were often perplexed about the reason for their trials. But this is not the case for you and me, or any believer in Christ, we can trace our sufferings back to identification with Christ and rejoice that we are counted worthy to suffer for His name (Acts 5:41).
I think this is why Paul could say with complete assuredness, “In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” We are more than conquerors because God has given us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!
How does it encourage you knowing that suffering—no matter how difficult it is—will not be able to separate you from the love of Christ? How might you identify with Christ in your suffering?
*From what you have just read and considered, what is a personal implication/application for your life today?
(Personalize this prayer today; make it specific to the circumstances that face you.)
Ask God to lead you through His Spirit as you go through your day. Ask Him to bring to mind the truth of the Gospel and its implications for what you will encounter today. Tell Him “Yes” to His will and ask Him for His power and protection to live out this “yes.” Ask God to create and reveal opportunities to proclaim the Good News today. KEEP PRAYING THROUGHOUT YOUR DAY.
Inspiration and insight for the devotionals came from the following books: Reading Romans with John Stott; The Message of Romans: God’s Good News for the World (The Bible Speaks Today Series), Stott, John; Romans (The NIV Application Commentary Book 6) Moo, Douglas J.; Encountering the Book of Romans: A Theological Survey (Encountering Biblical Studies) Moo, Douglas J.; Believers Bible Commentary; The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, with the New International Version, Romans through Galatians; NIV Application Study Bible. The Cambridge Bible Commentary, Romans, Best, Ernest.