walk in the word
31What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32He 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? 33Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34Who 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. 35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger or sword? —Romans 8:31-35
If you are a follower of Jesus Christ, fear doesn’t belong anywhere in your life. Fear expresses the opposite of all the Christian life is meant to be. It is the complete state of anti-God and is the contradiction of faith. Faith says, Whatever it is, it’ll be okay because of God. Fear thinks, It’s not going to be okay, and doesn’t think much about God at all.
Think about it: God seldom seems further from you than when your heart is filled with fear. Fear is relying completely on your own resources and realizing they aren’t nearly enough to sustain you. A fearful, anxious, frightened perspective toward your circumstances is never good and never from God. Romans 8:15 tells us, “You did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear,” and 2 Timothy 1:7 says, “God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”
Paul was a master at asking questions to make a point. In the verses above, he poses seven questions, six of which are sledgehammer blows against fear. Along the way, he names our fears: those against us, not having what we need, accusations, condemnations, separation, tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, danger, and sword. In listing these, Paul isn’t saying these won’t happen, but rather that while any or all of these things may happen, they cannot succeed!
No matter what fearful circumstance we face, look at what Paul says we have going for us: “God is for us,” “He . . . did not spare his own Son,” He will “graciously give us all things,” “God justifies,” “Christ Jesus is interceding for us,” nothing and no one can “separate us from the love of Christ.” These are six ringing sledgehammer strikes that can shatter our fears. They are all powerful statements of faith that confirm this truth: fear has no place in the life of a Christian.
To the believer in Jesus Christ, the promise is that God is with us individually, so we don’t have to fear. There’s a special sense in which God is with each one of His children personally. He is like your closest friend sitting next to you in a stadium full of strangers. He is with you in a way that is different from what an unbeliever experiences—and not only is He with us, He is also for us. As Romans 8:31 asserts, “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?”
The answer to that question shatters fear with the power of faith in Jesus Christ.
Father, what an awesome list of things to say in the face of fear: “God is for us,” “He . . . did not spare his own Son,” He will “graciously give us all things,” “God justifies,” “Christ Jesus is interceding for us,” nothing and no one can “separate us from the love of Christ.” In Christ, every one of those applies to me! I know my problem really isn’t fear; it’s that I don’t remember all I have going for me in You! Help me to make it my continual thought; You are for me, so who can be against me? In Jesus’ name, amen.
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