“Wrestling With Romans”
Singing in the Fire (Chapter 8 Verses 28-39)
No, says Paul, on the contrary, we are conquerors in all of these things (v37), not losers. By our persistence in these pernicious sufferings, not just enduring them, but joyfully doing so (Romans 5.3; Acts 5.41). Instead of being separated from Jesus we overcome in the midst of them, through him, through his mighty strength (Philippians 4.13), the one who loved us. The means by which we overcome? His supreme act of love (Romans 5.6), his death for us. For there is the greatest proof of Jesus’ love for us – he died for us. That settles it once and for all. I mean what more does he have to do to prove it to you? There is nothing that can remove you from that love, there is nothing that can lessen it, he loves you, victory is yours (1Corinthians 15.57) – end of story. Through the conquest he made which is ours, through the grace which he gives us day by day, through his intercessory prayers for us, through the in-working of His Holy Spirit within us, in fact through everything we’ve been through in this very chapter, the grand result of it all is, we are more than conquerors through, and in Jesus. That includes every down-trodden Christian, that includes every imprisoned Christian, that includes every martyred Christian, those battered and scattered by the devil, overcomers, every one of them, how? By the death of Jesus (Revelation 12.10-11).
The victory lies in faith, seeing ‘all these things’ (v28), through the eyes of faith (1John 5.4). Faith in the truth of God’s holy word, faith in the integrity of God’s holy character, faith in the supremacy of our Saviour, even Jesus. The victory lies in learning to patiently submit ourselves, and our souls to him in a loving trustful relationship (Hebrews 6.12-15; John 18.11). The conquest can be a joyful one too, again through faith in the power of God’s Spirit working in and through us (1Thessalonians 1.6; James 1.2), and that is occasion for rejoicing (John 16.20). It is only the Spirit of Jesus who can take our deepest, darkest sorrows and turn them into seasons of gladness, praise and thanksgiving (Psalm 30.11-12). It is the Counselor doing his work (John 14.16; 14.26; 15.26; 16.7), coming alongside, comforting, enabling us, no, not to whistle in the dark, but to sing, even in the fire, sweet praises to Jesus, the Lamb in the midst of the throne (Revelation 7.10), who himself will wipe away every tear (Revelation 7.17). But it is in, not out of these things, the answer is not for God to remove them, but for us to trust him in them (Mark 5.36).
(© James R Hamilton, written September, 1997)