And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Romans 8:38-39 NLT
Paul finishes his musings about God’s love and what could get in the way with it, by writing a catch-all statement. Just in case he had missed something that might possibly block him from experiencing God’s love, he included the thought that there was nothing that God had created that would apply. And because God created everything, that was a very complete and conclusive statement.
But in all of Paul’s thoughts, he missed out one very important entity that will block us from God, and that is our sin. It won’t stop God from loving us, of course, but a sinful human being can never enter His presence. The purity and holiness that is God’s very essence can never be soiled by sin in any form. The rebellious devil and his angels were evicted from Heaven because sin could never be allowed there. Heaven is a very real place with very real conditions, and sin won’t be one of them.
Are there ever any times when we pilgrims feel isolated and forgotten by God? Have we ever felt that our prayers never go beyond our ceilings? Just when we need God in a situation, does He seem to have gone on holiday somewhere? However, we can be assured that God will never forget us, or leave us. What God said through Joshua in Joshua 1:9 applies just as much today as it did then. He said, “This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go”. Some of the last words Jesus spoke before He ascended into Heaven were the reassurances that He will always be with us, His disciples. Matthew 28:20, “Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age”.
So if God has never left us, how is it that we can feel that He has? Sin may get in the way, of course. And our enemy, the devil and his forces, may have a part in it. But sometimes that is how things are. At times of apparent spiritual isolation, it is our faith that keeps us going. God is always there for us. So we continue to pray, read our Bibles, fellowship with other Christians, because that is what faith does. We perhaps evaluate what we’re doing, just to make sure that a spiritual error of one kind or another hasn’t crept into our devotional lives. But sadly, I have known people who return to their old lives in a sinful world, because of their doubts and lack of faith. Instead of pressing through they turn around on their journey, complaining that God’s demands are too hard for them, perhaps convincing themselves in the process that God doesn’t exist anyway. We who are strongest in our Christian walk need to encourage our weaker brothers and sisters to keep the faith.
Paul wrote that nothing in all creation can separate us from God’s love. That is a statement that underpins our faith. It is a pillar on which our future is built. If the Bible has recorded such a statement we cannot ignore it. The Holy Spirit inspired Paul to write it. Perhaps He is inspiring us to heed it.
Father God. We know You are always there for us. Thank You. Amen.