“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us.
38 For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
39 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.”
When Paul wrote the above passage he had proved the faithfulness of God in his life’s trials, tribulations and persecutions. He had settled something, (verse 38), he was fully persuaded that nothing in life could separate him from, or change, God’s love for him. He was seeing things from God’s perspective – God’s ways are a sanctuary! – not a punishment.
1 Samuel 30 records the event of David at Ziklag when his men wanted to stone him. In his great distress he cried out to the Lord – verse 6, “…but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.” In times of distress we can follow David’s example and encourage ourselves in God. Discouragement is not of God! In our humanity our emotions are often aroused by our circumstances. Thank God for our emotions, they are God given, but….
EMOTIONS ARE GOOD SERVANTS BUT BAD MASTERS!
The Word of God teaches us how to harness our rising emotions so we are not ruled by them, becoming an emotional wreck. Psalm 56:3 “When I am afraid, I will trust in Thee.” Habakkuk 3:17 “Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines……yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.” We have choice and when we have chosen the right path then God, in His grace and mercy, comes alongside of our choice and gives us His enabling grace and strength to go through the situation with Him….and He alone is glorified! “Of Him, through Him and to Him are all things.”
In my circumstances God is persuading me not to swing between two opinions. He wants me to be as Paul stated – FULLY PERSUADED of God’s love and care of me, and not constantly changing emotionally by every wind of circumstance.
I can experience negative emotions of anger, distress, discouragement, unforgiveness etc. When I own these emotions and refuse to give them up then I have responsibility for them. WHAT I OWN I HAVE RESPONSIBILITY FOR….to feed it, fuel it and thus keep it alive. But when I give it to God and put it on His altar, I disown it as His child and a divine exchange takes place. He gives me His positive emotions of joy and peace….”beauty for ashes.”
We all experience negative emotions at times, but we do not have to claim them, hold on to them and be ruled by them. They are not our birthright. Let us be fully persuaded, like Paul, and abandon these strongholds in our lives that would keep us from our divine birthright of God’s peace and rest.
In God’s great love for us, He works alongside of us in our trials to bring us through to victory in Jesus and to impart another “measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ: that we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine…..but speaking the truth in love, may grow up into Him in all things, which is the head, even Christ,” Ephesians 4: 13 – 15.
In the midst of our trial we may experience the condemnation of our hearts. 1 John 3:20 “If our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things.” Condemnation is not of God, it is from a heart that is believing wrongly, I need to nail the lie! When my heart gets in line with the word of God and believes what God says about me or my situation, then I will experience His joy and peace – two infallible proofs of right believing, “….. joy and peace in believing,” Romans 15:13. A man cannot steal the presence of God. We demonstrate what we believe.
When we are free from condemnation our confidence is in God, not in insurance policies or a stable bank account – these are false securities. Our security lies in the faith of the Son of God, believing that the love of God surpasses every circumstance of life we may experience. Romans 8 – when I am fully persuaded then nothing will deter me from this stand point.
AM I FULLY PERSUADED? Let us allow the Lord to work in our lives and bring us to that place!