“What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself. Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honour at God’s right hand, pleading for us.”
Romans 8:31-34 NLT
Paul reaches a climax in his writing, asking the question “What shall we say…?” It’s not like Paul to be lost for words. As the most prolific writer in the New Testament, his literary skills are without doubt. It is just incredible that he was able to write so much, being so busy with his missionary journeys. Perhaps spells in prison might have helped, giving him time to think. But Paul refers to “wonderful things”. What were they? Previous verses refer to those who put their faith in Jesus being adopted into God’s family, giving us a relationship with God so close that we can call Him “Daddy”. Paul writes about our legacy as heirs of God, with the benefits of a living and loving will available to us. He muses about our future glory and the new bodies that God will provide for us one day. They describe the work of the Holy Spirit within us, even to the extent of “groaning” our prayers on our behalf. And the previous verses set out a scenario that assures us God-lovers that whatever happens in our lives, He will bring a good outcome. Wonderful things indeed, and I can imagine Paul being overwhelmed with a flood of emotions, full of gratitude and worship.
It is obvious to Paul, and it should be to us as well, that with such a loving God on our side, nothing can ever successfully “be against us”. We may be going through a difficult time, with an antagonistic boss, or a controlling partner. Fellow students at school or college may ridicule us. Workmates may shun us. In some parts of the world, civil authorities may incarcerate us, or abuse us. Martyrdom is not a foreign phenomenon for Christians in hostile countries. But because “God is for us”, we can be assured that He will never desert us, because we are His children. Which parent abandons His offspring when in a time of need? Perhaps a premature entry into His arms is to be welcomed when times are hard. But through it all, our tormentors will one day have to stand before God and account for their behaviour. We have read the Book and know how it all ends. We’re on the winning side.
Such an assurance of God’s support and resources provides for us the confidence we need for living. We read in 1 Peter 2:9, ” … you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light”. We have stumbled upon an eternal and far-reaching truth, that provides for us the realisation that we are living in God’s light. We have ended up aligning ourselves to the One who holds the whole of creation together. And we look back to our God-less lives and realise just how dark they were. In fact, if it wasn’t for God’s light spilling off of His people, the blackness of life would have been total. Do we realise that as we pilgrims walk in this world, we are spiritual beacons giving off the light of God?
We are living in an age where no weapon conjured up by the devil and his minions can ever be successful against us. Yes, discomfort and even death may be on the horizon for some, but through it all, our wonderful Heavenly Father has it covered. He’s on it. We can worship Him with a peaceful confidence of His love and care.
Heavenly Father. You provide light for a dark and desperate world. Please help us to reflect that light into the lives of those around us, those so oppressed by sin and hopelessness. We worship You today. Amen.