If God Himself Be For Me
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 8:31-39)
This is one of the most comforting passages in all of Scripture. When you doubt God’s love for you, read this passage. When you are afraid that the world and the devil may triumph over you, read this passage. When fear and hysteria is all around you, read this passage.
Because of Christ’s life, death, resurrection, and ascension, you are guaranteed victory over everything and anything that may try to separate you from the love of God in Christ Jesus. There is nothing in this entire universe that you need to fear. You are a super-conqueror.
As we sing in Gerhardt’s magnificent hymn If God Himself Be For Me (LSB 724):
If God Himself be for me,
I may a host defy;
For when I pray, before me
My foes, confounded, fly.
If Christ, my Head and Master,
Befriend me from above,
What foe or what disaster
Can drive me from His love? (stanza 1)
Nothing and no one can condemn you before your Heavenly Father because the blood of the Son has been applied to you in your baptism and given to you in the Holy Supper. Even on Judgment Day, you have nothing to fear.
He canceled my offenses,
Delivered me from death;
He is the Lord who cleanses
My soul from sin through faith.
In Him I can be cheerful,
Courageous on my way;
In Him I am not fearful
Of God's great Judgment Day. (stanza 4)
If God gave you His only-begotten Son, you never need to doubt that in all things and in all circumstances, that He will graciously give you all that you need for eternal life and salvation.
No danger, thirst, or hunger,
No pain or poverty,
No earthly tyrant’s anger
Shall ever vanquish me.
Though earth should break asunder,
My fortress You shall be;
No fire or sword or thunder
Shall sever you from me. (stanza 8)
No pandemic shall sever Him from you either.
This is all beautifully summarized in our Confessions:
48 Furthermore, this doctrine provides glorious consolation under the cross and amid temptations. In other words, God in His counsel, before the time of the world, determined and decreed that He would assist us in all distresses. He determined to grant patience, give consolation, nourish and encourage hope, and produce an outcome for us that would contribute to our salvation. 49 Also, Paul teaches this in a very consoling way. He explains that God in His purpose has ordained before the time of the world by what crosses and sufferings He would conform every one of His elect to the image of His Son. His cross shall and must work together for good for everyone, because they are called according to God’s purpose. Therefore, Paul has concluded that it is certain and beyond doubt that neither “tribulation, or distress,” neither “death nor life,” or other such things “will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (See Romans 8:28, 29, 35, 38, 39.) (Solid Declaration Art. XI, Para. 48)
In the coming day, it is my prayer that you find comfort, strength, and hope in these powerful words that the Holy Spirit gave through St. Paul.
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