35 Who can separate us from the love of Christ? Can affliction† or distress or persecution† or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written: Because of you we are being put to death all day long;†we are counted as sheep to be slaughtered.
When my seventeen-year-old son was a toddler, my husband and I discovered how he was dropping items down the floor vent in our dining room. Our son was fascinated with how some objects like paper would float back up in the air from the air conditioner vent, and other items like mac and cheese noodles dropped in the vent and never came back up. Yes, we found all kinds of things down that vent! Our inquisitive son was learning about how some items were affected by the blowing air and others were not.
In Romans 8:35, Paul is asking, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?” This isn’t a cause-and-effect question. It is not a trial and error. No need to test and see what can separate us from the love and what cannot. The answer is simple: nothing can separate you from God’s love. God’s love is so strong that trouble, hardship, persecution, famine, or even death can separate us.
The takeaway from this is that God loved you, God loves you, and God will always love you. This is a truth to claim and to live, confident that no matter what happens in your life, you are loved. As people who trust God, we are not spared from calamites in life, but we can experience His everlasting joy as He walks with us. No matter how we feel or what we are walking through, we can trust that God loves us.
To make his point even more clear, Paul quotes Psalm 44:22, “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” This verse is a reminder that suffering is a natural part of being a Christian and has been experienced by God’s people even in the Old Testament. In these expected afflictions, we must continue to focus on God, His truths, and His love. We can do this by prayer, scripture reading, fasting, learning scripture, and spending time listening to God each day. We will not grow weary if we remember that He loves us, and that no matter our circumstances, this will never change. Walk today knowing that you are loved!
Questions to Ask Yourself
- Think of a time when you have felt unlovable. What are some verses you can tell yourself in moments where you feel unloved in order to remind yourself that God’s love is everlasting?
- Based on these verses, how would you answer someone who asks you why bad things happen to good people?
- What spiritual disciplines do you practice each week to help you stay focused on God and the joy that comes from Him?