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He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?
I used to think this meant that God would give me things I want. He already gave me Jesus. He won’t withhold anything else. But if you read a little further, you find out what things Paul has in mind:
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? … No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
Trouble? Hardship? Persecution? Why would a loving Father give me that? But wait. He didn’t spare his own Son. Why would he spare me? Did Jesus have trouble? Check. Hardship? Check. Persecution? Check. Yet Jesus remained so secure in his Father’s love that he could face all those things. He even faced something we do not have to face: God’s rejection.
My God! My God! Why have you forsaken me? (Matt 27:46)
But to us he says:
Never will I leave you. Never will I forsake you. (Heb 13:5)
So our loving Father graciously gives us all things—trouble, hardship, persecution—along with Jesus. Because it turns out that life always comes at us with trouble, doesn’t it? We have accidents. We lose jobs. Friends and loved ones die. But now we regard all these things as gifts graciously given by God, who assures us of his surpassing love by giving Jesus too.
How tempting it is to think when trouble comes that God hates us or is displeased with us or at least doesn’t care about us. Then we remember Jesus, and the sacrifice God made for us to demonstrate the incomparable greatness of his love for us. This, too, comes from (or was allowed by) my loving Father, the same Father who showed how great his love is by sending Jesus. I am sad. My soul is downcast. I grieve. And yet….
In the midst of my pain, I know he loves me. While grieving, I remember his goodness. Though I do not understand, I trust.
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.
All scriptures taken from Romans 8 (NIV) unless otherwise noted.