No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 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 8:37-39
Let's see, I've been told we're losing the war on drugs; we're losing the war on education; we're losing the wars against poverty and prejudice. From what the experts say, there are an awful lot of wars being fought.
And we're losing almost all of them.
To such a dismal, defeatist, discouraged point of view, Paul says don't you believe that for a second. That's just not the way it is.
Actually, Paul never said that with those words. The apostle said it in a different way; by that I mean the Holy Spirit told him to write it down this way: "For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Do you hear that?
Those words were written by the same Paul who had been whipped, shipwrecked, stoned, beaten and imprisoned. In spite of all he had experienced and suffered, Paul was positive that he was, because of Jesus, more than a conqueror.
The comfort provided by those words cannot be underestimated.
Let me explain. To all intents and purposes it would seem that reporter and United States citizen James Foley was a victim: a man who was helpless and impotent when he was swept away and beheaded by the fervor and horror of Islamic terrorism.
Yes, so it would seem.
Until you are told that James Foley was a good Christian, a believer whose faith was very real and alive. That means, when he was captured, the Savior was with him. When the reporter languished in prison, Jesus was there. When the headsman swung his sword and James Foley breathed his last on this earth, Jesus made sure that Jim received a crown of life.
Nothing had separated Jim Foley from Jesus Christ -- just as nothing can separate you from your dear Lord. Now I don't know what kind of problem and pain you have. I don't know what war it is you feel you are losing. Whatever it might be, please remember nothing can separate us from Jesus.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I give thanks for the victory Your sacrifice has given to so many hundreds of millions who have gone before me. May I also rejoice that You are with me in the difficulties of life. Although I do not see how my problems may play out, may I'll always be confident You will give me the final and ultimate victory. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Check out Lutheran Hour Ministries' video sermon series, "Footsteps of Paul." Click here!
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries