“I am convinced that neither death nor life… neither the present nor the future, nor any powers… will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”Romans 8:38-39
The knowledge of God’s unceasing love is foundational to the stability of my life. Yet at times I feel like I’m running on empty, drained by the negative experiences of life. “Why is this happening?” I cry. Like Job I ask, “Have I not walked in faithfulness and truth?”
Moments like these draw me back to Jesus, the Living Word, and to the truth of the written Word. Paul tells the believers at Rome that God’s goal for them is to be conformed to the likeness of Jesus, the firstborn among many brothers. We are to share in the fellowship of Christ’s sufferings. His “divine conspiracy” is to make us more like Christ and to let us share in His glory. We might not always enjoy or appreciate the process, but He is at work.
We often let our sufferings result in hardness of heart, bitterness, blame, and even defiling others. But the furnace of affliction refines and purifies as God does His work in us. We find that we can conquer, but only because our faithful Conqueror triumphed over suffering, sin, and death for us.
“For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.” (Romans 8:29)