Devotions

Devotion on Romans 8:28–39

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 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? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 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. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written,
“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 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.

Trust in the Lord is a hard thing. Our lives are hectic, busy, and we’re always pulled in several directions at the same time. As much as our lives are focussed on the here and now, we try and plan for the future, but who knows what the future holds? We try to fend off the worries and concerns. We push it to the back of our minds, but sometimes there are the sleepless nights. There’s the unexpected troubles that pop up. Family members get sick. We get sick. Trouble at home. Trouble at work. Troubles all around.

Paul says, “we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” All the troubles, all the struggles, and all the junk we have to deal with are all going to work out for good to those who love and trust in God. So what if it doesn’t work out for good? What does that say about my love and trust in God? Paul doesn’t go down that road. He leaves Old Adam to ask his questions to the wall: “For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.”

It all hangs on Jesus. As surely as Jesus hung on the cross and rose three days later, so also everything working out for our good hangs on Him. It all hinges on Good Friday. God is for us. We have a heavenly Father because of Jesus. Jesus has died for us, and now how can anything turn out for bad? When it comes to getting sick or dying, Paul says in Philippians, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” So also here in Romans, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?” It doesn’t even matter if were killed day by day or suffer intense persecution, like the Christians in Iraq.

“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors.” We are conquerors because Jesus conquered. Nothing can separate us from God’s love in Christ Jesus. A cross and death couldn’t keep His love from us, in fact, it’s what secured that love for us. There was an empty tomb also, and our being baptized into that death and resurrection assures us that on those days when all we’ve got going for us is that we’re baptized, we know that God loves us. It will work out for good, it just has to because of Jesus. INI + AMEN.

If God Himself Be for Me (LSB 724)
or
I Leave All Things to God’s Direction (LSB 719)

Lord of all power and might, author and giver of all good things, graft into our hearts the love of Your name, increase in us true religion, nourish us with all goodness, and of Your great mercy keep us in the same; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

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