What is the most useful chapter in the Bible? Some may feel that Genesis 1 (Creation), Psalm 23 (the Good Shepherd), 1 Corinthians 15 (Resurrection), or Revelation 22 (the Bible’s final words) deserve that title. Yet, there is a case that Romans 8 may well earn that distinction. Living in an unsettled world, this chapter bears a timely message: “Take a breath. God says that it will be okay.”
Romans 8 contains several well-known verses.
- There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (v. 1)
- I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. (v. 18)
- If God is for us, who can be against us? (v. 31)
Each one clearly states that God is in control. Nothing can separate us from his love.
The past five months have been difficult for everyone. I do not wish to minimize the impact that disease, the loss of livelihood, and restrictions on travel and socializing have had on people. Nor do I claim that there is no inequality in the world. Yet, if you look at all that has recently happened through the lens of Romans 8, you begin to understand that what God does is for our good and it will continue to be for our good even in trying times.
Have you considered the new opportunities for the gospel since mid-March? An avalanche of technology through streaming, YouTube and other social media has shared the saving message of Jesus with a figuratively captive audience. The seed of the Word has been planted. The Holy Spirit will cause it to grow as he sees fit.
Have you considered the new opportunities for personal spiritual growth? Once busy schedules are not as busy. There is more time to read God’s Word, meditate on it, and pray.
Have you considered the new opportunities for godly living? Social isolation creates loneliness. This is a great time to reach out and check on others—especially those who have no one checking on them.
Romans 8 closes, “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
“Take a breath. God says that it will be okay.”
Lord, help us to “take a breath” knowing that you are in control. Amen.
Jim Grasby is principal of Lakeside Lutheran.
Reach him at 920.648.2321 or firstname.lastname@example.org