For the last few days, I have been reading Romans 8, to be specific, verses 37 through 39. These are three verses that are a salve to the wounded heart and belong in the Christian’s spiritual warfare arsenal.
… we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
(Rom 8:37-39 ASV)
I have been firmly convinced for several years now that the Christian must glom onto Jesus and never let go under any circumstances.
As you walk through this life as a Christian, you will be attacked by the enemy. The enemy may take the form of a stranger who walks down the street as in the following true story.
A friend and her daughter made a shopping trip to a popular mall one Christmas. As they walked through the crowds, there were two teenaged boys dressed in black with all the accoutrements of the basic Goth look walking towards them. When they passed, both boys looked at the daughter, which isn’t unusual in itself, but one of them made motions with his hand – as if crossing himself in a twisted sort of way – and said “Obey the Master” in a low and sinister tone. That was a little weird – even for Goth-types in a shopping mall. It was very upsetting to the two ladies and especially to the daughter. The lesson is that those two boys recognized the qualities of Christ in the daughter, who, by the way, has a very strong relationship with Christ.
Sad-to-say, the attack may come from someone you consider to be a good friend in the church you attend. This happens, too!
I tell you this because you will be recognized for what you believe – sometime, somewhere, somehow – and you need to be prepared. We must remember that those who do attack may be innocently subject to the whisperings and persuasions of the evil one and they, themselves, are not the enemy at all. We need to have grace for them and not condemn them, for we are not to judge them – that is God’s domain.
But, by the same token, we do not have to suffer each blow they deliver and be beat down. It may even be that they will not back down from their attack, even when you try to explain your actions or your beliefs. Just make sure your beliefs are in step with the teachings of Jesus and of the Bible. We need to stand and fight.
Others, like those my friends encountered, have given themselves over to evil. From those, we need to flee. There is no help that a single person can bring to them other than through prayer.
Know this: even though we are attacked, we have a Comforter to help us through the circumstance and these three verses in Romans can help us get back on track if we recall them to our memory when we become beat up and downtrodden.
Romans 8 is a wonderful chapter to read and re-read and carefully study. I will look at some of the other verses in the future, but in the meantime, why don’t you read it a few times and see what you glean from it. Try reading it through quickly a couple of times and then read deliberately and let each word speak to you.
I’d like to know your thoughts and insights as a result of your reading — perhaps something in the chapter resonated with what you are dealing with at this particular point in time. If you feel free enough to share that, that would be good.
I will honor any and all requests for privacy, but I would say that the level of privacy that you would like must begin with you. Don’t write anything that you would not want your mother to see!
The holidays are upon us …
and they can be very depressing for some people. If you are one of those who approach the holidays with a grimace in stead of a smile, perhaps these verses can help to dispel some of those depressed feelings. For us in America, Thursday the 24th of November, is Thanksgiving and it sort of marks the beginning of the holiday season – at least in my mind. It is a day set aside for us to be thankful for all that God has given us.
Then, of course, Christmas comes a month later. In between there is plenty of time for fellowship with friends and family. Unfortunately, some people cannot look forward to the holidays with anticipation and instead they cautiously approach it with fear driven by the prospect of being alone at a time when many people are with friends and family. Let’s try to ease someone’s hurts this holiday season. Remember that it is not always apparent when someone is hurting – they can be good cover-up artists!
Thank you for reading and God bless you all.