As my children go back to school, my youngest starting secondary, I know that troubles will come and go for them as they do for all of us. My prayer is that when troubles come, my children will be strengthened by the love of God in their lives and in the lives of others.
‘Who shall separate us from the love of Christ: Shall trouble or hardship or persecution of famine or nakedness or danger or sword? …nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord’. Romans 8:35,39 NIV.
We can all be vulnerable in our earthly existence but hope can be strengthened, by remembering the death of Jesus and the sovereignty of God. Paul wrote that ‘All true believers are the objects of God’s love’, and because of that, neither people nor circumstances can revoke our salvation. Paul asked ‘What can make Christ stop loving us?’ The answer: Nothing. He goes on to describe the various adversities that we the believer might experience – pressure, temptation, suffering, hunger, poverty, danger and death. Not one of these can separate us from Christ’s love.
Paul himself experienced much adversity in serving Christ. Those trials never broke the bond of Christ’s love for him, and no adversity will ever separate us from Christ’s love either.
Perseverance during adversity marks us as true believers because adversity refines us by increasing our love for righteousness and our hatred of sin. We are secure in life through our perseverance and confidence.
As Christians, we have every reason to be optimistic. If we don’t allow adversity to obscure God’s promise that all things will ultimately work out for good, we can believe that the Word of God will help bring joy and hope to all our lives.