31 So what are we going to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us? 32 He didn’t spare his own Son but gave him up for us all. Won’t he also freely give us all things with him?
33 Who will bring a charge against God’s elect people? It is God who acquits them. 34 Who is going to convict them? It is Christ Jesus who died, even more, who was raised, and who also is at God’s right side. It is Christ Jesus who also pleads our case for us.
35 Who will separate us from Christ’s love? Will we be separated by trouble, or distress, or harassment, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written,
We are being put to death all day long for your sake.
We are treated like sheep for slaughter. [Psalm 44:22]
37 But in all these things we win a sweeping victory through the one who loved us. 38 I’m convinced that nothing can separate us from God’s love in Christ Jesus our Lord: not death or life, not angels or rulers, not present things or future things, not powers 39 or height or depth, or any other thing that is created.
This week we read Paul’s words to the Corinthians: “We are experiencing all kinds of trouble, but we aren’t crushed. We are confused, but we aren’t depressed. We are harassed, but we aren’t abandoned. We are knocked down, but we aren’t knocked out” (2 Corinthians 4:8-9). He sent the Romans quite a list of defeats, too: “trouble, or distress, or harassment, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword.” But he wasn’t whining. He wrote the list to say that he (and we) can defeat all those “defeats”: “In all these things we win a sweeping victory through the one who loved us” (verse 37). No matter what life throws at us, we can march on with Paul and a long line of believers to God’s eternal victory.
- Legendary Alabama coach Bear Bryant said, “The price of victory is high but so are the rewards.” * He may have pictured earthly trophies, but Paul had something bigger in mind. The compound Greek word translated “sweeping victory” in verse 37 was hupernikaō. “Huper” was a superlative, like the English “hyper.” “Nikaō” was a form of the Greek word for “victory,” which may be even more linked with sports today than then--“nikē”! Paul asked two insistent questions: “If God is for us, who is against us?” and “Who will separate us from Christ’s love?” He phrased both in a way that meant the answer was “Nobody and nothing!” In what ways does that confidence shape your daily life for the better? How can that confidence lead you to sweeping victory beyond all of life’s defeats?
All powerful God, whatever comes my way, hold me close in the shelter of your love. Thank you that, through you, I can win a sweeping victory in “all these things.” Amen.
Read Psalm 91:1-2. Whether in disappointment, fear, uncertainty or joy, we can be assured God is always with us. Gather as a family in a favorite room in your home. Talk about why that room is a favorite. Is it extra comfortable? Does it have more lighting? Now, move together to the least favorite room in your home (maybe the garage or laundry room). Discuss why it is the least favorite. Is it the dirtiest or the darkest? Return to the comfortable room, talk about where each person experiences God’s presence most deeply. Ask each person to be aware of their most disappointing and their most joyful times this week. Encourage each person to remember God is always present with everyone, everywhere and in every situation. Pray and thank God for always being with you and your family.
* Quote found at: https://www.brainyquote.com/search_results?q=victory.
Mikaela Aurand is a student at Belton High School and is active in rezlife Sunday School and youth group.