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Daily Devotions – Ready in Suffering

 

Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart:

Romans 8:31-39 (ESV)

God’s Everlasting Love
31 What then shall we say to these things? 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 with him graciously give us all things? 33 Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written,   “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:31 is often misunderstood. People use this verse as a way to strengthen themselves to fight against a perceived enemy. But didn’t Jesus want us to love our enemies (Matt. 5:44)? This passage is about enduring suffering like Christ endured the cross. Suffering is used as a lie in our lives to tell us that we are worthless, that we are failures, and that God does not love us. But we can endure suffering just like Christ, because the cross tells us that we are deeply loved. That seems totally crazy in our world today. When we live believing the Gospel we will be ready for anything and the world will notice. Is there suffering in your life right now? Do you believe the Holy Spirit is with you pouring out God’s love? Are you ready?