God is bigger than our Struggles. Romans 8
Life can be a struggle. This can leave us wondering, where is God in our trials? Does he care? Is he absent? Does he cause life struggles? What did we do to deserve hardship?
These questions are no any different than the questions of the Romans in the first century. When the Romans answered these questions they tended to take a pessimistic approach toward God. This was especially true when bad things happened. They assumed bad things happened because someone angered the gods. Even the Jewish people assumed bad things happened because God was punishing bad people. At one-point scripture records a group of Jews asking Jesus about a blind man. They asked, “who sinned, this man or his parents, that he would be born blind?” (John 9:2). Their question presumed trials were directly related to a person’s sin.
However, in the Bible we discover that just because bad things happen, it does not mean God is punishing. It does not mean that God does not care. In fact, the opposite is true. One of the reasons we hate the effects of sin is because God hates sin and its effect and we are designed in his image. When we respond with disgust over the effect of sin, we are agreeing with God. God does not delight in sins suffering. The truth is, we live in a sinful world and God wants to rescue his people from the destruction of sin. Rather than see his people destroyed, He wants to destroy sin (Romans 8:19-25). As a believer, it is so important for you to understand that God isn’t against you. He is for you (Romans 8:31). When you know God is in your corner, you can face the adversity of the world with boldness. (Hebrews 4:16).
As a believer you may be wondering if God hates you. You may be wondering if God is punishing you. You may want to know if God cares about you.
Imagine you were a first century Roman citizen. One of your gods would have likely been Zeus. He was often portrayed as an older muscular man looking over the world in an uncomfortable stone chair that resembled a throne. He isn’t the kind of God pictured as a loving grandpa looking over children. He is often portrayed as a guy who was interested in going shirtless, sporting a beard and holding a lightning bolt half-cocked in his arm. This is not the idea one has in mind when you consider the word compassion. However, poised to combat this theological error with biblical truth, Paul writes his book to the Roman Christians. The words of the Apostle Paul revolutionized the theological thinking of his time. Paul writes about the one true God and says in Romans 8:28
“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”
Romans 8:28 is a great memory verse. What a relief! God loves you in adversity, through adversity, and beyond adversity. God is bigger than your struggles. All things may not seem good right now but He will work it out for good. I know sometimes your struggles may seem bigger than God, but God will overcome them. How do I know? The Cross! God took the most despised and torturous form of death and made it a symbol of victory and hope. If he can do it with a cross, he can do it in our lives. We don’t want to undermine our struggles. Neither does God. Fortunately he cares so much he wants you to know he is bigger than all the pain in our lives.
As a believer, knowing God is in your corner is the foundation to Romans 8. This is a beautiful chapter that encourages us closer to Jesus in our adversity. Read it! In fact, regularly read it.
As we conclude on the memory verse of Romans 8:28, consider these statements throughout Romans 8. As a believer in Christ, know that God is for you.
- · 1 Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
- · 15 For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!”
- · 26 In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words;
- · 28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
- · 31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?
- · 35 Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
- · 37 But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.