Romans 8:35-36 “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: ‘For Your sake we are killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.’” These are some pretty serious conditions that most of us will never experience: sever distress, persecution, starvation, lack of clothes, and even our lives at risk. But if we did experience such trials, would they separate us from the love of Christ? Let us consider the question of “Who can separate us from the love of Christ?” There are several ways we might understand this question.
First, we might suppose that God and Christ, because of the tribulations and severe problems we experience, might have stopped loving us. But when we think about it, that is obviously false. God never stops loving us. Jeremiah 31:3a “The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying: ‘Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love.’” In spite of the many tribulations and distresses that came upon the Israelites, the Lord declares that He has an everlasting love for His people. He has an everlasting love for us as Christians as well. We should never think that His love for us will end. Romans 8:31-32 “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” God proved His love for us by giving His only Son for us. We must never interpret the tribulations and problems we experience as evidence that God does not love us.
Second, we might suppose that some external force or individual might come between us and God to keep His love from coming to us. But the Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 8:38-39 “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” The inspired writer is fully persuaded that nothing – death, life, angelic creatures, individuals in mighty positions, powers, things in the present, things in the future, extreme conditions or any created being – can come between us and the love of God. When we think about it, it is obviously wrong to think that the Almighty Creator of the Universe would allow anything or anyone to keep Him from giving His love to us.
Finally, we might allow the tribulations and problems of our lives to cause us to give up and quit. We might decide that it is too difficult. The tribulations and problems are too painful for us to endure. Therefore we allow them to cause a separation between us and God and we turn our backs upon Him. But this we must never do. We must realize that God allows tribulations and problems to come into our lives to shape us and mold us unto the individuals He wants us to be (James 1:2-4). We need to make the lifetime resolution and commitment that we are going to win with God’s help. Romans 8:37 “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” James 1:12 “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.” (NIV) We are being tested. We must remain faithful until death so that we will receive the crown of life (Revelation 2:10). Let us resolve to not allow anything to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.