Catalogue of Suffering (Part 2)
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? Romans 8:35 (NIV)
In a suffering world, you need to know that God is totally for you in Jesus Christ. As we look at three forms of suffering from Paul’s list, ask yourself: “Will I experience this form of suffering?”
- Nakedness. Q: Will you experience nakedness? A: Maybe. There are Christians in the world today who need clothing. Does God love them any less than he loves you? Absolutely not! Could one of God’s children experience the shame of nakedness through a violent assault? Yes. Paul is saying that it can happen, and tragically, sometimes it does. If you’ve experienced the shame of nakedness, you need to know that God is totally for you in Christ.
- Danger. Q: Will you experience danger? A: Yes. We live with the risk of various accidents (that’s why we have insurance). There are 42,000 auto-related deaths in the United States every year. We also live, increasingly, with the constant threat of terrorism.
- Sword. Q: Will you experience martyrdom? A: Maybe. “Sword” is a reference to martyrdom, to someone’s life being taken on account of their faith. Every day, brothers and sisters in Christ around the world experience this.
Christians don’t come to worship in order to escape the realities of life. We come to worship to find the strength to face the realities of life in this difficult, hard, persecuting, hungry, naked, dangerous, and martyring world.
How can you have joy in knowing that God is totally for you, even in the face of great suffering?
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