Summary: We have hope no matter what we face in life
Moments of Hope
August 31, 2014
“Man can live about forty days without food, about three days without water, about eight minutes without air...but only for one second without hope.”
¯ Hal Lindsey
Everyone is in need of hope. The world would fall apart without it. People would become filled with despair without it. Humanity would be miserable without it. There is no way to fully measure the impact of hope. Hope is our greatest asset in the midst of difficult times. Without hope in Christ we would be lost.
What Does Hope Do?
Hope shines brightest when the hour is darkest.
Hope motivates when discouragement comes.
Hope energizes when the body is tired.
Hope sweetens while bitterness bites.
Hope sings when all melodies are gone.
Hope believes when evidence is eliminated.
Hope listens for answers when no one is talking.
Hope climbs over obstacles when no one is helping.
Hope endures hardship when no one is caring.
Hope smiles confidently when no one is laughing.
Hope reaches for answers when no one is asking.
Hope presses toward victory when no one is encouraging.
Hope dares to give when no one is sharing.
Hope brings the victory when no one is winning.
Paul asks a series of questions to further build his case about the work of God. He speaks in verses 28-30 about how God works in the midst of our lives. God works in all things to bring His good into our lives. Not everything we go through is good but God works to use everything to make us more like Jesus. God uses the good, the bad and the ugly moments of life to help us reach the goal of being more like Jesus. He seeks to change our character by infusing His divine character into our lives.
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. Romans 8:31-37
Beginning in verse 31, Paul starts asking a series of questions to further prove his point about the work of God in our lives.
What shall we say in response to this?
Paul immediate builds off the previous verses and addresses the proactive nature of the work of God. What can we say about how God has provided for us? Paul speaks of God’s taking a proactive stance with working in us.
God has given us everything that we need for salvation. He has proactively worked to ensure that the offer of salvation is intact for all people. The choice is ours to accept it but the offer is for any and all who would accept.
Paul sues these next questions as a way to stir the heart of the reader. Much like speakers will ask rhetorical questions with the same answer to stir the audience. The answer to each of these questions is the same: no one.
If God is for us who can be against us? No One
Who will bring a charge against those whom God has chosen? No One
Who is he that condemns us? No One
Who will separate us from the love of Christ? No One
If God is for us who can be against us?
Paul uses this question to reveal the condition of God’s promises. The phrase here in English doesn’t drive home the reality as much as the original language. The wording might be better: Because God is for us who can be against us? Think about that for a moment.
Because God is for us nothing can stop us in life. Because God is proactive in the lives of believers and has set us apart to be like Jesus, we can be assured that He will bring the work to completion. God always finishes what He starts.
There will always be opposition in life. Paul is not saying that we will never face opposition but rather is saying that everything that opposes us will not defeat us. We face opposition from hardships and tragedy. We face opposition from persecution and naysayers. We face opposition from our sinful nature. We face opposition from death itself but in all the end, can any of these things defeat us?