June 13, 2013

Life is not random

From small things like needing to look for a parking spot to large things like being betrayed by someone I trusted, God continues to keep His most precious promise. Life is not random.
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. (Romans 8:28–39)

He works to make every event in my life a good thing, good in that it is a tool in His hand to shape me into the image of Jesus Christ. That is a good thing, the best thing. It is my destiny as His child, and my glory that is certain, set in the heart of God and easily within His power.

What can be said in response to this amazing truth? The above passage offers rhetorical questions. If God is for me, who can be against me? No one, for no one can do anything to me that He cannot use in this marvelous plan. He gave me Jesus, the most and greatest He could give. Anything else that I need is nothing compared to this Gift.

Who can charge me with anything? God has forgiven me and declared me righteous, not because of anything I have done or can do, but because I have Christ. His righteousness has been exchanged for my sin. No matter what others might hurl at me, He stands before me to bear the brunt. Nothing can hurt Him; He takes the fall for me, and rises again to live forever.

Nothing can separate me from His love, nothing in life with its trials and threats, nothing in death  or in the unseen powers of the spiritual realm. I am in Christ and He lives in me. That means that I am more than a conqueror.

The answers are clear. Evil at its worst has already been met and mastered at the Cross. God turned suffering’s most awful triumph into total defeat. That happened and on that scale. It may happen on a much lesser scale in my own life because I am united to Christ by faith, but because His Spirit has invaded mine, then I can do as He did. “In all these things” that are desolating and heartbreaking, all physical pains, mental agonies, and spiritual midnights of my soul — I am “more than a conqueror.”

I have no brave valor or stoic resolution. Creeds, codes and philosophies are okay but insufficient. I can overcome only because of “Him who loved” me. In His sovereign love, nothing that comes against me is outside of His grand and glorious purpose for me. Because of this and because He lives in me, praise God, no event in my life is random and victory is a sure thing!

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