Thursday after the Twenty-Second Sunday after Trinity Sunday
Scripture: Romans 8:24-39 (NKJV)
24 For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance. 26 Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
27 Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. 28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.
31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 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? 33 Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.
35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” 37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 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.
“In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”
St. Paul had some things going against him. “Tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, peril, sword.” It is quite a list. Preaching the truth of salvation by grace through faith in Christ had made him some enemies. Some of them seriously wanted to kill him! And if they had done that, that would have meant…well…nothing. St. Paul would have gone to Heaven, as eventually happened when he was finally martyred.
You likely have some things going against you, too. Perhaps health concerns. Perhaps relationship issues. Perhaps financial matters. But whatever the troubles may be, they can seem large, ominous, and threatening when they are all that we’re looking at. So look further. Look to Him who loved us, all the way to the cross!
That is what St. Paul did. He says we are “more than conquerors,” or literally “hyper-conquerors.” That does not mean that if you work the “Jesus program” just right, all your troubles will go away. What it does mean is that all of life’s challenges are reduced to bumps along the way to Heaven. Salvation is ours through faith in Christ Jesus. The biggest problem you could possibly have, separation from God, has been solved by Jesus’ death and resurrection. And compared to that, the rest really is not all that big. In Christ, we conquer it all.
We pray: Thank you, Lord, for the inestimable gift of Your salvation. Behold, in Your mercy, all else that troubles my mind, and grant me grace to trust that You will deliver me from all evil. In Your Name I pray, dear Jesus Christ, my Savior and Lord. Amen.