Posts Tagged ‘Romans 8:31’

Disappointments and Doorways

June 23rd, 2016

Disappointment can be a doorway to your greatest opportunity.

 “Moses my servant is dead. Now arise and go over this Jordan.” Joshua 1:1 NKJV.

My thoughts and comments today are about disappointments and doorways.”

Difficulties and disappointments will come. When they do it is difficult to stop staring at the past, to resist the present reality, and not to feel stuck where you are. It is difficult but it is not impossible. Optimism is the best cure. There really is no other good option to moving past the past. In the purposes of God, your focus is forward and optimism is your attitude.

Moses died, 120 years old and, “his eye was not dim nor his natural force abated.” Note Deuteronomy 34. The page of history is turned and a new and grander chapter begun. In God, every ending births a new and greater beginning. Moses is dead; promises remain and victories await. Joshua 1:1-11 NKJV.

You have to deal with present reality to embrace future possibilities. Moses’ death must have been Joshua’s biggest disappointment. He personally and Israel nationally lost a bold and brilliant leader; the only leader they had known. “Moses my servant is dead; now arise.” Moses is dead. Joshua must carry on. Israel stands at a pivotal national moment – on the brink of its destiny and the fullness of God’s promises.

Your biggest disappointment can be a doorway to your greatest opportunity. It was for Joshua and Israel. “Moses my servant is dead; now arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them.” Joshua 1:2 NIV. Several million people were waiting to know from Joshua what was next. They couldn’t go back where they were; they couldn’t stay where they are; they had to press onward. The realities were these. Before them was an uncrossable Jordan at flood tide. Across Jordan was Jericho, the most fortified city guarding the entry to Canaan. Beyond Jericho were scores of other fortified cities, war-hardened armies, and men of such stature as to be seen as giants. They had been here before and a generation died because of their unbelief. Numbers 13:31-33 and 32:9-12 NKJV.

We know the story and the dangers faced and victories achieved. Let’s consider the process and apply it to your situation. God always rests the future on His promises in the past. God reminds Joshua of the renewed promises. “Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you, as I said to Moses.” Joshua 1:3-4 NKJV. God assures Joshua of His continuing presence. “As I was with Moses, so shall I be with you. I will never fail you nor forsake you. Be strong and of a good courage.” Joshua 1:5-7 NKJV. Three times God called Joshua to strength and courage. The issue is settled. “If God is for us, who can be against us?“ Romans 8:31 NIV.

God prepared Joshua to lead Israel with confidence; He will do the same for you in your difficult and uncertain moments. “Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6 NKJV. The best is yet to come. This passage provides three things that are essential, not optional. (1) Speak the Word of God faithfully. (2) Dwell on God’s Word continually. (3) Live according to God’s Word consistently. “Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:8-9 NKJV. Jesus promised, “Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Mathew28:20 NIV.

Today, I pray for you that you refuse to settle for anything less than God’s highest and best.

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October 25th, 2013

“If God is for us, who can ever be against us?” Romans 8:31 NLT.

There is too much worry, yet too little wonder of the love of God.

My thoughts and comments today are about “adversity.”

Ever have times when you felt like everything was working against you? Anyone might feel like that on some occasion. Be careful; you could easily begin feeling sorry for yourself, which is a major waste of time and emotion. Life is not always fair, and the winds of circumstance are not always favorable. Time and circumstance happen to one and all.

Your success in life does not depend upon the good fortune of favorable events. Everyone will have their share of laughter and tears; so will you! Tears are usually the result of troubling times and/or troublesome people. Be advised; Jesus warned that those experiences have the power to steal the word of God from your heart. Jesus called such moments, “tribulation and persecution.” Your well-being comes from successfully handling such times and people. Read Matthew 13:20-21 NIV.

When adversity – big or small – seems to beset you or opposition seems to array against you, ask yourself the same question Paul asked, “If God is for us, who can ever be against us?” Romans 8:31 NLT. The Bible does not promise an exemption from challenging times and cantankerous people. Those are the experiences about which Paul refers. Life is more about those who are for you, than those against you. And God is for you.

Paul asks some probing questions that expose the raw nerves, yet persevering faith, of a man that experienced the best and worst of everyday life. Read 2 Corinthians 1:8-10 NLT/6:4-10 NKJV. In his letter to Christ-followers in Rome, he asks, “Who dares accuse us . . who then will condemn us . . who can separate us . . does it mean He no longer loves us?” Romans 8:33-35 NLT. Your answers are more critically important than any of your questions.

You may feel the sting of those who privately criticize your best efforts, while you fear that any adversity results from displeasing God, just as Job’s friends suggested of him. Or from those who wonder aloud if your pain or loneliness are symptoms of Heaven’s disapproval. Or maybe from the devil’s whispers that create doubts of God’s love. Such things waste time.

Here is Paul’s answer, and I hope it will be yours: “No, in spite of all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ who loved us. And I am convinced nothing can ever separate us from His love.” Romans 8:37-38 NLT. The Apostle Paul was establishing this simple truth: adversity or opposition do not indicate the displeasure of a God who is unchangeably and altogether for you. Rest safely and confidently in God’s care. There is too much worry, with too little wonder of the love of God. Read Ephesians 3:16-19 NIV.

My prayer for you today is that you find your rest and refuge in Christ alone.

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Ally or Adversary?

March 29th, 2012

“If God be for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31 NKJV

“God’s intent is that you enjoy supportive company in your journey of faith.”

My thoughts and comments today ask, “ally or adversary?”

Isolation is an unnatural circumstance, even unhealthy to your personality and development. Solomon wrote, “As iron sharpens iron, a friend sharpens a friend.” Proverbs 27:17 NLT. You were made for meaningful relationships. You can be better if they are the right kind of friendships, not so good if the wrong kind. The Bible is plain and simple about that; “Don’t be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character.” 1 Corinthians 15:35 NIV.

Just as truly as I learned a Law of Physics in high school that, “Nature abhors a vacuum,” I have learned you must choose the right kind of helpful companions, or you will find the lesser kind all too available. You must learn to differentiate between allies and adversaries. God’s intent is that you have and enjoy supportive company in your journey of faith. The reality also is that there are those who will be adversaries to your faith. You will have friends; choose them well and walk with them closely. You will have adversaries; avoid them when possible, and ask for help when you need to do so.

Life can be hard on your own, because God never meant for you to be without the mutual benefit of companions. That truth was established early at Creation when God made Adam, then announced, “It is not good for man to be alone. I will make him a helper suitable for him.” Genesis 2:18 NIV. Generations later, David declared the same truth when he wrote, “God sets the solitary in families.” Psalm 68:6 NKJV. Though it sometimes feels like it, you do not have to be alone in life.

There are times you may feel as Joshua when facing the obstacle of a fortified Jericho impeding his journey. Read Joshua 5:13-15 NKJV. Standing before him with sword drawn was an imposing figure. Joshua, ever the courageous soldier, asked, “Are you for us, or for our adversaries?” That’s important to know. May you be certain as Joshua discovered – God will always be for you!

The Apostle Paul recites difficult life experiences and then asks, “If God be for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31 NKJV. In that truth safety and assurance of soul is found. David recalled his own difficulties and dangers, recounting, “If it had not been the Lord who was on our side . .” Read Psalm 124:1-8 NKJV. I cannot imagine my life without God on my side, and Jesus at my side. When God is on your side, “No weapon turned against you will succeed . . When a man’s ways are pleasing to the Lord, He makes even his enemies live at peace with him.” Isaiah 54:17 NLT/Proverbs 16:7 NIV.

The Bible warns, “Be vigilant because your adversary, the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” 1 Peter 5:8 NKJV. You have a dangerous, credible adversary but God is your ally, “an ever present help in time of trouble.” Psalm 46:1 NIV. Be persuaded that “God is for you,” and live in such a way that He can be. Do not live in a way that sets you in opposition to God. “You are of God, and have overcome . . because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” 1 John 4:5 NKJV. God is greater than any and all who would posture themselves to harm you.

My prayer for you today is that you live with courage and confidence in God’s strength.

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God Is For You

October 27th, 2010

“If God be for us, who (can be) against us?” Romans 8:31 Amplified

God has been, now is, and will eternally be for you.

My thoughts today are that “God is for you.”

Sometimes you can become so worried about things, or people, that seem against you that you lose sight of who is for you. It is good to live with a firm knowledge of who is for you. I have been fortunate to have a lot of good and kind people on “my team.” Who can you count on to be there for you, applauding your successes, sharing your disappointments, healing your hurts, supporting your decisions, listening to your concerns, drying your tears, rejoicing in your progress, and protecting your interests?

Value your family. They will be there for you always. Build your friendships. They make life a shared journey. Choose inspiring role models and Godly examples. They make you better. If your role models let you down, your friends won’t. But if your friends let you down, your family won’t. But even if your family lets you down, God never will! “If my mother and father forsake me, then the Lord will take me up.” Psalm 27:10.

Most importantly, know this: God has been, now is, and will eternally be for you. “He did not spare His own Son, but offered Him up for us all; how will He not also with Him grant us everything?” Romans 8:32. God spared nothing; He gives everything. The most enduring basis of your confidence can only be found in God. If He would not withhold His Son, why would He withhold anything from you? “No good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly before Him.” Psalm 84:11.

Now think of the latter half of today’s verse, “Who can be against us?” Now we are talking, not about people who might let you down, but about those that may even oppose you, making things difficult for you, criticizing your efforts, and blocking your progress. Funny how one person who is antagonistic can cloud your realization of a dozen who would plead your cause. Every minute that you spend worrying about those apparently against you, you depreciate something of the importance of everyone who is for you. Every effort and moment you waste to persuade someone to think or feel differently about you, you no longer have to share with those who support and encourage you. That is neither wise nor beneficial.

Paul asks a sequence of somewhat rhetorical questions, Who can be against us? . . Who can accuse? . . Who can condemn? . . Who can separate us from the love of Christ?” See Romans 8. Your answer to those questions evidences the depth and substance of your confidence in God’s being for you. Imagine the surpassing love of God that places Him in your life, as long as you live – and beyond! See Ephesians 3:16-20 NIV/Jude 1:21 NIV.

My prayer for you today is to have unshakable conviction that God is truly for you!

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