Summary: When we truly reallize that God is on our side, the fears that could sometimes fill our life melt away.
As most of you know I have 2 children; Hannah is in the sixth grade now. Trent is almost 6 years old. As they grow older, I catch myself doing something that my dad used to do. I gush. Have you ever just looked at someone you love and felt the emotion swell up inside you? You wanted in some way to let them know how you felt, but when you did it just seemed too mushy for words. It happens to me with my kids, and when I try to tell them they just wind up thinking I’m weird. Some time back Trent was busy playing an electronic game and I felt a little mushy. I called him over and he refused to come. After coaxing, pleading, and finally demanding he walked over to me and I gave him a hug and told him that I loved him. He rolled his eyes and said, "Oh Dad!" like, "Why in the world did you disturb me just for that?" I remember being the same way with my dad.
So how do you convey the depths of parental love to a 6 year old who hasn’t learned to tell the difference between love for family and love for a Nintendo game? Is it possible for a child to comprehend the depth and breadth of her parent’s love? And even if she can’t understand it, should that stop us from expressing that love? Is our love any less just because they don’t get it?
Throughout the Bible, God expressed His love for His children in a million different ways. He created a luscious garden to live in, and He provided manna and quail in the wilderness. He gave a land to live in and He provided crops to sustain them. And in an act that defies the comprehension of our feeble little minds, He sent His Son to the world. A baby in a manger and a man on a cross are two images that can’t help but make us wonder. "What kind of love is this that God has for us?" I have to stand up weekly and try to explain the depths of God’s love, and often I feel like I did when I was a child hearing my parents tell me they love me. It’s bigger than I can comprehend.
That’s why Paul asked the questions that close the eighth chapter of Romans. Because when we hear about God’s love, there really are some questions that come to our minds. With a series of five questions, Paul challenges anybody and everybody, in heaven, on earth, or even in hell itself to deny the depths of God’s love.
(Read Romans 8:31-39)
Did you notice the questions? My guess is that you’ve probably asked them a time or two yourself. You see, Paul could have made bold, far reaching statements about the incredible commitment of God to His children. Instead, he wants the answers to these questions on our lips.
"If God is for us, who can be against us?" Now understand, Paul could have asked the question "Who can be against us?" and the answers would have been numerous. Every person who lives faces opposition. There is disease, disappointment, and difficult circumstances which all serve as opponents to our good pleasure. But the truth of the matter is, that is not the question Paul asked. His statement is "If God is For us, who can be against us?" And that is a different question entirely.
Now Paul has spent a long time explaining one fact, and by now he expects you to realize it. God is for us. If you have gotten to this point in Romans, he expects you to realize that. Just in this 8th chapter he has shown you how much God is for you. He has told you that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. He has pointed out that God has given you a part of Himself to walk with you every step of the way. He has highlighted the fact that for Christians there is an overflowing abundance of hope. If we haven’t caught onto God’s love by now, it’s not because Paul hasn’t explained it. God is for you!
So tell me, with that in mind, who can be against you? When things pile up against you, how do they stack up? Not how do they stack up to you! How do they stack up to God? Are you afraid that God can’t handle the difficulties in your life? If you are, then you don’t understand God. He is the one who called the universe into being. He created every star in the sky, and every speck of dust that inhabits the space around those stars. He created the whale and the elephant, and He created the amoebae and the smallest gnat. He engineered the universe to operate in perfect synchronization. Are you afraid that He can’t handle your problems? Surely not when you really think about it. I suspect there might be another fear.