Should we pretend we don't have problems, since god is for us?
WHAT, THEN, SHALL WE SAY IN RESPONSE TO THESE THINGS? IF GOD IS FOR US, WHO CAN BE AGAINST US? . - ROMANS 8:31
Who Can Be Against You?
Our verse asks us a really great question. But, it isn’t an easy one.
It asks, “If God is for us, who can be against us?”
So, let me ask you that same question. If God is for you, who can be against you? What do you think? You might be tempted to say what our verse clearly wants you to say, “Nobody. Nobody can be against me.” And yes, the verse does say that God is for us; therefore, no one can be against us, right? Still, you might feel this tension, like your personal experience pushes against that idea. So, I just want you to think about your own life and answer me this:
Have you ever felt like someone had it out for you?
Maybe someone bullied you in school. Maybe you had a friend betray you and wreak havoc on your social life. Maybe a coworker or a boss made your work-life miserable. Maybe even now there’s someone in your life that seems to have made it their personal mission to put obstacles in your way. In light of your own difficult situations, I just want you to answer that question honestly. Have you ever felt like someone had it out for you? I’m thinking if we’re being honest, all of us can say, “yes”, at least at some point. Yet, our verse seems to be saying that’s impossible, because God is on our side. Somehow there must be something else going on.
(CONTINUED FROM ABOVE)
So what’s our verse really saying?
Let’s start with what we can know that it isn’t saying. We can trust our verse isn’t a lie. The Bible is true, all of it. And we can trust that this isn’t some mantra we should blindly tell ourselves to make us feel better about our hard situations. Like somehow if we simply say it over and over again, we will start to believe it. It also isn’t a statement we should throw at people (or ourselves) to help us over-spiritualize our problems. Like the only reason we really have enemies is because we aren’t believing God enough. This verse isn’t meant to trivialize the very real and difficult situations and people in our lives. It isn’t meant to be a burden of holiness, telling you that you aren’t really spiritual if you truly are dealing with people who have it out for you. On the contrary, this verse is meant to give you great hope in our good God. It’s meant to affirm that he is for you, working out your difficulties. He sees you in those places where you’re under attack, and he is with you. Our verse is telling us not that people cannot actually be against us. Instead it tells us that with God on our side, they cannot succeed!
How do I know? Context, baby!
Oh, I love me some good context! We just need to keep on reading... Our passage shows us that there are, in fact, very real trials that Christians endure. And often, we have very real people against us supporting and advancing those trials. Verse 35 tells us that followers of Jesus often endure tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, danger, and the sword. Verse 36 says that “...we are being killed all the day long…” Seems like there are some people who are “against them” right here in this same passage. But here’s the beautiful part, the part that really gives context and insight to our dilemma, verse 37. It says,
“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us!”
Do you see it? We have very real problems and very real people that we are up against. But, we can know that we are not abandoned. We can know that God is with us in our situations. The God of the universe, who sacrificed his Son for us and who loves us is on our side. And if he is on our side, none of these things can succeed against us. Not a person, not a situation, not even death itself, has even a smidgeon of power over us. We are more than conquerors! We have already won. This is the good news—not that we sweep our problems under the rug and deny their existence, not that we try to live up to a holy standard, but that Jesus, himself, has lived up to that holy standard. Jesus, himself, had very real enemies, and very real difficulties. He empathizes with us in our situations. And more than that, he provides the solution: himself. He has won, making us victorious over everything we could have never had victory over otherwise.
Truly, if God is for us, who can be against us?
Is there a person or a situation that you feel like you are up against right now?
How have you seen God show up and be “for you” in your situation?
How does this verse help free you from feeling like you need to pretend you don’t have problems?
Thanks for reading,
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Hi there, I'm Natalie! I'm so glad you're here. I'd love to connect with you to hear more about what God is doing in your life!
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