If God is for us, who can be against us?

The answers are as follows, “Nothing,” “No one,” “He will,” “No one,” “No one,” “No one,” and “No.”

Is it not an interesting situation in which to be; that is, to have the answers without the questions? For if life teaches us anything, it teaches that as time marches on, the questions increasingly outnumber the answers. In this walk we seem constantly to encounter trouble and hardship—both others’ and our own. Naturally, we question why this is so. Or as Emerson wrote, “The sun shines and warms and lights us and we have no curiosity to know why this is so; but we ask the reason of all evil, of pain, and hunger, and mosquitoes and silly people.” It is in our DNA to wonder why things are so, especially the difficult and inexplicable things. It is ingrained in us to question loss and pain and heartache and loneliness and suffering. It is also natural to wonder if we are all alone in our plight, if anyone cares, and if God is even paying attention. In fact, not only is it natural, it is common, and puts us in the company of some pretty faithful people (the Psalms anyone?). 

The fact is, we are all currently saddled with a disease. This disease is called “mortality.” One of the symptoms of this disease is what is called “suffering.”  This has been so from the beginnings of humankind. Humanity has struggled to survive and to thrive, and along the way has experienced death and pain and jubilation and exhaustion and fear and joy and victory and loss and isolation and community. We have mourned and we have celebrated throughout our history on this planet. And we have asked “Why” and have sometimes found ourselves wondering at the futility of it all, which also puts us in some pretty good company (Solomon, anyone?).

But we know that there is more to this existence than a continuous raging against our transience that is interrupted by the occasional triumph. There is much more. And, at least for our purposes in this brief article, I believe there are some answers that prompt us to remember and to rejoice and to be glad—even in our affliction.

Romans 8:31-35: “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?”

The answers are as follows, “Nothing,” “No one,” “He will,” “No one,” “No one,” “No one,” and “No.”


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