Living in the love of God
In his letter to the Romans, Paul posed the rhetorical question: "Who wants to part us from the love of Christ? Tribulation or fear or persecution or hunger or nakedness or danger or sword? » (Romans 8,35).
It truly cannot separate us from Christ's love, which is clearly shown here, as we can read in the following verses: «For I am certain that neither death nor life, neither angels nor powers nor powers, neither present nor future , neither high nor low nor any other creature can separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord » (Romans 8,38-39).
We cannot be separated from God's love because He always loves us. He loves us whether we behave well or badly, whether we win or lose or whether times are good or bad. Believe it or not, he loves us! He sent his son, Jesus Christ, to die for us. Jesus Christ died for us when we were still sinners (Romans 5,8). There is no greater love than to die for someone (John 15,13). So God loves us. That's for sure. No matter what happens, God loves us.
For us Christians, perhaps the more important question is whether we will love God when the going gets tough? Let us not fool ourselves into assuming that Christians are immune to trials and suffering. There are bad things in life, whether we are saints or sinners. God never promised us that there would be no difficulties in the Christian life. Will we love God in good times and in bad?
Even our biblical ancestors have thought about it. Let's look at the conclusions they reached:
Habakkuk: «The fig tree will not be green there, and there will be no growth on the vines. The yield of the olive tree is absent, and the fields bring no food; Sheep will be pulled out of the hurdles and there will be no cattle in the stables. But I want to be happy of the Lord and be happy in God my salvation » (Habakkuk 3,17: 18).
Micha: «Don't be happy about me, my enemy! If I lie down, I'll get up again; and even when I sit in the dark, the Lord is my light » (Me 7,8).
Job: «And his wife said to him, Do you still hold fast to your piety? Cancel God and die! But he said to her, You speak as the foolish women speak. Have we received good from God and shouldn't we also accept evil? In this all Job did not sin with his lips » (Job 2,9-10).
I like the example of Schadrach, Meschach and Abed-Nego best. When threatened to be burned alive, they said they knew God could save them. However, if he chose not to do it, she would be fine (Daniel 3,16: 18). They would love and praise God no matter how he decides.
To love and praise God is not so much a question of good or bad times or whether we win or lose. It's about loving him and trusting him, whatever happens. After all, this is the kind of love he gives us! Stay firm in the love of God.
by Barbara Dahlgren