Real help for a real struggle

*****
In our struggle with sin, we have the assurance of God’s forgiveness as we turn to him in prayer. And a church family to confess our sins, encourage and rebuke one another in love as we grow to maturity in Christ; Eph 4:15-16. Like I’m trying to do here. But even more we have the help of his Word that works to change us through ongoing transformation.
God’s free gift of salvation isn’t just a sinless card to start over, that wouldn’t be enough,  but a new heart willing to submit to king Jesus and ongoing renewal of our minds by his Word.
He started the work, is at work presently and will surely accomplish it on the day of Christ.
We have real help in our struggles and sure hope in our loving King Jesus.
*****

Unshakeble ground

35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written,

“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
    we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.Romans 8. 

This is a well known passage of scripture. Easy to memorise and to flip and find. As a matter of fact I knew it even before I could call myself a Christian and I loved it, ironic isn’t it? But it’s not until a few weeks ago that I stopped to think about it’s incredible implications for a Christian.

If I didn’t know better I could say yes; suffering, death, this life, powers…could actually separate us from Jesus. It’s not once that we come across something that makes us doubt God and his steadfast love. To be honest if this relationship depended on me, it would have died long time ago. I doubt it would even have started.

But isn’t that the point? That our faith is founded on the unshakeable ground of Jesus love not me or my effort. What a relief? What a great assurance? And it’s not just a strong Hollywood kind of love. It’s much more; unshakeable, undefeated, unending love because in the Gospel is the surpassing power of God.

It’s only this kind of love that turns stumbling blocks into stepping stones so that, that which should challenge it actually supports it. Pick suffering for example, one can only suffer for so much before giving up. But when it comes to the Gospel, suffering actually points us to the amazing future that awaits a Christian with our Lord and Saviour Jesus. While death has been the end for many a love story, for a Christian, death is the best that can happen as we get to be alive with Christ.

What can separate us from the love of  God in Christ? Nothing, no one, not what we know and not even what is beyond us? Simply and absolutely nothing!