Wednesday, October 27, 2010

EMMDEV 2010-10-27 [Romans Ch.8] The Maths of Trouble

35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:
"For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered." Romans8:35-36

Trouble can be overcome or avoided.
Thanks to the powerful love of God, we can overcome trouble.

Paul tells us that the love of God is robust enough to sustain us through all the angles and aspects of trouble's reach into our lives.

Even when it seems as though trouble has reduced us to feeling like cattle in the abattoir queue, we are assured that the final say does not belong to pain, abandonment and heartache.

And Paul does not write from an ivory tower. Listen to his own life experiences recorded in his second letter to the Corinthians:
"[I have] been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. 24 Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, 26 I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false brothers. 27 I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked."

Paul had a doctorate from Life's Practical University of Trouble and yet he was able to declare with absolute and utter conviction:
The love of God is tougher than the trouble I am in!

Does the presence of trouble make you feel unloved?
This is the mistake many of us make: We work according to a mathematical formula that goes like this: "Trouble = Absence of God"

BUT Paul understands it like this:
"Trouble + Love of God = Victory over Brokenness."

Theo Groeneveld
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