We continue our No Fear series with a message from Romans 8:31.
What is happening in our world is exactly what Jesus said would be happening before He comes again. Yet many are angry that God allows something like the COVID-19 outbreak. But those same people often were unconcerned before the virus reached our shores. We betray our own selfishness when we demand action from God only when our lives are inconvenienced.
It’s not that God is uncaring or doesn’t have power over COVID-19, it’s that COVID-19 is revealing the truth about in whom we really trust. God either exists or He doesn’t, and your trust in Him can’t be dictated by a virus, a plunge in the stock market, a tornado, a genocide, or a dream job, or a vacation home in the Bahamas (pre-hurricane). Your trust in God must come from the cross not circumstances. It is the cross that lets us know, “God is For Us.”
Rewind to this simple four-word sermon contained in Romans 8:31. We will rewind this phrase four times, but each time putting the emphasis on a different word.
GOD is for us! God does not hate us, as Satan has lied and led multitudes to believe. Where was God when Christ died? “God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them” (2 Cor. 5:19). God was right there, cheering His Son on. They were in this together. Jesus said, “I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf. No, the Father himself loves you” (John 16:26, 27).
God is the one who loved us so much He gave up that which He loved most to save us. The crucifixion of Jesus was more than enough justification for God to unleash His wrath on humans. Yet God didn’t smite, he saved. He didn’t zap, He forgave. He didn’t condemn, He cured. THAT God is for us.
God IS for us! “Is” is a form of the verb “to be.” God IS Love. It’s an expression first of God Himself. God is compassionate, slow to anger, infinite, gracious, and God IS for us! To be God is to be for us! In the same way that God cannot do anything but love because love is what He is, God cannot be anything but for us because that’s what He is—for us!
IS is also present tense. Is means today. This moment. Right now. Afraid about the virus; angry that God seems to be doing nothing to stop it; even doubting His love—He IS still for you.
God is FOR us! “FOR” means favor. That’s God cheering us on. He is on our side. He is our advocate and helper. Rewind the entire 8th chapter of Romans to see what He’s doing for our salvation. No condemnation (vs. 1); set free from law of sin & death; (vs. 2) adoption (vs. 15); help in prayer by the Holy Spirit (vs. 26, 27):
- Do you fear that you’re too sinful for God to forgive you? The Spirit will present your prayer to God combined with the remorse you feel.
- Are you concerned that your prayers aren’t worded properly? The Spirit will present your desires to God in the perfect language of heaven.
- Are you afraid that your faith is inadequate? The Spirit will add Jesus’ faith to your prayers when He presents them to God.
- Do you suspect that your heart may not be in the right condition for God to hear you? The Spirit will combine your prayers with the righteousness of Christ before presenting them to God.
God is for US – If God had a car, your name would be on his bumper. If there’s a tree in heaven (and there is), he’s carved your name in the bark. God is for you yesterday, today, and forever.
That’s the whole Bible in four words—the good news summed up in 10 letters. And for how long is God for us? Rewind to vs. 35-39. Nothing can ever separate us from His love. Nothing and nobody. Not even COVID-19. And if God is for us, we should have NO FEAR.
Pastor Randy Maxwell