Summary: In a world torn apart by war, tribulations, famine and hardship, God's love is still constant and visible in the love of Christ. We may have questions about the presence of evil, but that does not equate to a passive God, as He continues to love His own a
Romans 8: 35-38
A time of war is a difficult time. It usually a time when questions are raised, some questions we may find answers to them, others we may never find visible answers, yet it does not mean that there are no answers to those, it may just mean that we are not able to see the answers to them with our naked eyes.
In the letter of Paul to the Romans chapter 8 verses 35-38, we have a series of questions that Paul asked which drove into the heart of the Christian understanding of the love of God.
As we come to the end of chapter 8, we’re faced with the questions. “What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? 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? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 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. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: ‘For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.’ No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”
Today we may questions of our own regarding the state of affairs in our world, after all we have been fighting one war or another for the last two decades, starting form the first Iraqi war in the nineties. Is our world better for it? Are we doing the right things? Can we eradicate evil violence with what someone call good violence? Where is God in all of these? Where is the love of God for human beings and nature. These are questions that we might have today, and we will be right to ask them in the light of the violence which characterised our lives today.
While most of these questions are rhetorical, as those that Paul asked his readers in Romans 8, they are no less real. In fact, Paul is using this method to get us to think about some of the real issues and questions of life. These questions lead only to the discovery of the Truth of Christian theology. The truth that in all things God’s love remains, and that the presence of evil is not necessarily the absence of God, nor does it equate to a passive God.
What Paul wanted his readers to understand is that God loves and cares for his people in war or at peacetime, during famine and during plentiful harvest time. God’ s love is constant and that nothing in all the world can separate the faithful from the love of God.
Paul argues that those questions sometimes can be Satan’s way to get at God’s people. Questions like. “If God loves and cares for you, then where is He right now? Where was God on September 11, 2001? Where is God when you had a car accident? Couldn’t God prevented that from happening if ever he was Almighty? Where is God when you your loved one was ill with cancer? Where was God when the hurricane unleashed it’s ferocious power on the tiny Islands across the world?
The things Paul mentions aren’t just trivial pain and inconveniences. Paul touched on some horrific calamities. He is asking the question, how can we sustain the love that we have for each other in the face of these horrific calamities? Can those evil phenomenon damage or ruin us?
And Paul’s answer is NO, these things happen for reasons, and that we are sometimes part of the problem, but God already provided the solution if only we can trust in Him and follow his precepts. “…for we are more than conquerors in Him who loved us.” Rom 8:38
But we also need to understand the problem of evil and suffering. It has been said that suffering is result of a sinful world and salvation is a result of God’s love.
and just because we are Christians doesn’t ever mean we are not going to suffer. Because we are sinners and live in a sinful world as long as we are on this earth we may have to endure hardship from time to time.
Paul not only makes it clear that we might endure such things as he mentions such things as tribulation and persecution, but he also adds another reason why we sometimes suffer. We suffer because the world and Satan persecute us for trusting in Jesus as our Saviour. Paul tells us as He quotes Psalm 44:22