Summary: Nothing separates the believer from the love of God and His Son. We may face many difficulties in life but we will ever live in the presence of the love of God in Christ.
The Ever Present Love of Christ and Suffering
Romans 8: 35-39
Today marks the tenth anniversary of what we now call 9-11. Everybody remembers where they were on that fateful day in our nation’s history. I was in my study in Hampton, Tennessee preparing to speak the following day at a Retired Teachers Association meeting at First Baptist Church in Elizabethton, Tennessee. I remember being shocked and in disbelief for a while after I heard the news. Yet, when reality set in I knew I had to change my message from one of encouraging the teachers I would be speaking to the next day to a message of running to God by faith and trusting in Him as our eternal refuge. God gave me the security found in Psalm 46. I used that Psalm to comfort my heart as well as the hearts of those attending the meeting the day after 9-11.
Many have asked the question: “Where was God on 9-11?” One well known minister answered by saying, “God was in the same place He was the day He watched His Son die on the cross for sinners.” Biblically and theologically speaking, God is ever-present, omniscient, omnipotent, and sovereign; therefore He is always present and all knowing and in control as He supremely reigns all the time.
Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, answers the question for those in Christ. “Where is God in the disasters of life?” He is loving His people with an everlasting and ever embracing love. Paul states that the love of God in Christ is a love from which we will never be separated.
It is sometimes difficult for us to understand why God allows us to face hard things since He loves us unconditionally. Yet, we do not see or know as God sees and knows. Listen to the statements made by Lisa Beamer, the wife of Todd Beamer. Her husband Todd was on flight 93 that went down in Pennsylvania. He was the one who said, “Let’s Roll” as a group of men tried to overtake the terrorists who had hijacked the plane. I think Lisa had learned to trust Christ and His love as she faced the horrible reality of 9-11.
Lisa said in an interview with Modern Reformation Magazine: "God knew the terrible choices the terrorists would make and that Todd Beamer would die as a result. He knew my children would be left without a father and me without a husband . . . Yet in his sovereignty and in his perspective on the big picture, he knew it was better to allow the events to unfold as they did rather than redirect Todd’s plans to avoid death. . . . I can’t see all the reasons he might have allowed this when I know he could have stopped it . . . I don’t like how his plan looks from my perspective right now., but knowing that he loves me and can see the world from start to finish helps me say, ‘It’s OK.’"
She also said, "My faith wasn’t rooted in governments, religion, tall buildings, or frail people. Instead, my faith and my security were in God. A thought struck me. Who are you to question God and say that you have a better plan than He does? You don’t have the same wisdom and knowledge that He has, or the understanding of the big picture." "We also aren’t privy to the perspective he has and shouldn’t claim to know better than he does what should happen and what shouldn’t. . . . Faith means that, regardless of circumstances, we take him at his word that he loves us and will bring us to a good result if we just trust and obey him. Obviously, the ramifications of this understanding have been tremendous for me since 9/11."
I. First of all consider the love of God in Christ for you.
A. It is a love that brings us into a family relationship with God.
• John states in 1 John 3: 1, “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.” The manner of love the Father has bestowed upon His children is that we who were sinners worthy of justice should be called the children of God. God’s love moved Him to express His grace and mercy toward us and adopt us into His family by His Spirit. We are no longer children and citizens of this world because we now belong to Him and His heavenly kingdom. We who were without hope in this world have been given great hope in Christ. We who were once lost in the rags of our sins have now been made children of the King by His own love, grace, and mercy.