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Romans 8:35


Darlene

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Heavenly Father,

 

As I was doing the study yesterday, I saw that this 35th verse would be next. It's a verse that many people learn by heart because it's a verse that they cling to in times of distress, doubt or rough times.

 

Before I even start this study Father God, I just ask that the depth with which You intended Paul to pen these words, would become apparant. I ask that the fullness be known because it wouldn't surprise me in the days ahead, when the seas of our lives become more and more threatening, that we will find ourselves climbing into this verse as if it were a lifeboat, hanging on to Your truth and promise.

 

For someone like me, who has been forgiven much, it has meant the world to know that nothing, and I mean nothing could ever seperate Your love for me.

 

While we all have various people in our lives in whom we place our trust and reliance, I personally trust no one like I trust You.

 

I love You Father God.

 

In Jesus Name I pray,

 

 

35. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or anguish, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

 

The rvbv writes, "When Paul says, Who shall separate us from Christ's love? and then begins to enumerate things, it is plain that in the word "Who" he has in mind the great enemy who opposes "things" to God's saints! Satan is "prince of this world," and "god of this age": this the apostle always has before him: "that no advantage may be gained over us by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his devices." So he says: Who shall separate us? shall tribulation? Thirty-seven times this word rendered "tribulation" (thlipsis) and its verb are used to denote those direct troubles that afflict the saints, - because of the gospel! Satan has sought, - and, oh, how desperately, - but has never succeeded in separating one saint from Christ's love by tribulations (See this word in Matt. 13:21; I Thess. 1:6; 3:3; John 16:33.) And God sees to it that the path of the Christian is a narrow, "straitened one! (Matthew 7:14 has the same word - "narrow." See also II Cor. 4:8; 7:5.)

 

And now the next word - distress. This word (stenochoria) is rightly translated "anguish" in Chapter 2:9; for there it evidently means a fixed place in which "every soul of man that doeth evil" is held while Divine judgment is visited. The word means a narrow, cramped place, where one is "in straights." For the lost this is unendurable; for the saved, it only affords room for God's help, when naught else can avail. So, distresses - how terrible soever - cannot separate from Christ's love. Remember, Christ, the Lord of glory, had not a place to lay His head: He knows what distresses are!

 

Or persecution - (diogmos). This is a word used ten times in the New Testament, and always in reference to the gospel. Its verb means, "to make to run," or "to run swiftly to catch" those pursued; so, to persecute. No saint thus persecuted has yet been forsaken by Christ, - nor ever will be! "If they persecute Me, they will also persecute you." Christ never forsakes, but has the sweetest fellowship with those persecuted by the world, - directed (under God's permissive decree only!) by Satan. Christ is always saying, "Be of good cheer!" (Acts 23:11)

 

Famine - comes next. And you would think that the Lord of all would ever provide liberally for His saints. Not always! The "present distress" is on. Christ the Heir was cast out of Israel's vineyard and slain! The Head of the new Body has indeed been glorified. But why should not the members of His Body know by experience what the Head passed through and thus find fellowship with the Head? Thus they come to have one heart with Him! “Famine?” Yes. But not to separate us from Christ’s love! “I know how to be in want,” says Paul. Twelve times is “famine” (limos) mentioned in the New Testament: though only twice (here in Rom. 8:35, and in II Cor. 11:27 - this last concerning an apostle!) does it directly touch the saints. In Acts 11:28, indeed they get relief (though by other saints, not by government agency!). Yea; you may be hungry in this Christ-rejecting world, and yet be beloved of your Lord! “The meek shall inherit the earth” - but not yet! Not till He comes back!

 

“All here is stained with blood! -

Thy blood, O glorious Christ!

And man and Satan do today

Whate’er they list!”

 

(Yet do not forget that, amidst it all, God lives! The God of Elijah still looks after His own!)

 

Or nakedness - In I Corinthians 4:11, Paul says, “Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwelling-place.” (Read the whole passage.) How ashamed we feel, who are not as devoted to our Lord as was Paul, to hear him speak thus! This whole part of Romans Eight shows us as partakers with a Christ the world cast out.

 

Or peril - Eight times in one verse, II Corinthians 11:26, does Paul use this word. Read that verse, remembering the same word in I Corinthians 15:30: “We stand in jeopardy [peril] every hour.” In Paul’s bringing you this gospel, Jewish hatred, Roman jealousy, pagan blindness (Acts 14:8-20) and false brethren (Acts 15) beset him round, - striving that “the truth of the gospel” might come unto us! God grant we cherish it! Many have suffered, that we might have these wondrous truths!

 

Or sword - The first use of this word (machaira) is connected with our Lord Himself: Matthew 26:47: “A great multitude with swords and staves” to take Him; while Acts 12:2 (“Herod…killed James the brother of John with the sword”), and Hebrews 11:37 (“They were slain with the sword”), give only examples of the attitude of this world toward Christ and His saints. The world hates the saints; though sometimes those making most hideous use of the sword have worn “the sign of the cross.” That was the world’s religion; and, like Cain, it killed God’s people. But, even in the hour of death most terrible, Christ was there: they were not separated from His love!”

 

 

 

Heavenly Father,

 

This was interesting…as I began to type out today’s study, and as the study unfolded, I found, and find, myself assaulted with stresses and concerns. There are deadlines I have to meet and for all intents and purposes, at this moment, I’m not able to meet most of them, or barely able to meet them.

 

So it’s been distracting to type the above. Several times, I had to go back and re-read what I had just written because I wasn’t absorbing it because of these peripheral worries. Fear is trying to invade my heart and to some extent, is successful, so I look up to You, my Heavenly Father and tell You I’m afraid.

 

And then I look above, to what I just wrote, and am reminded that Your grace is sufficient, and You (not me) will somehow see me through.

 

It’s easy to think that we’ll get through this difficulty or that difficulty, until we’re actually in that difficulty. That’s when we’re tested and ‘all that we think we are’, we are not, BUT, all that You say You are, You are, and more.

 

It’s Your glory Father, and I love You…

 

In Jesus Name I pray,

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This verse is a lot more sobering now....reading it in conjunction with today's headlines...than I have ever noticed before. After all, while I've experienced financial issues and health issues and personal issues....I have never truly been persecuted or starving or without clothing or in peril & facing 'a sword' for being a Christian [jeered at mebbe but that's minor], .......

 

OK, I guess I should back up. I did face peril in some of the employment positions I took in inner city human service work. While I was not handing out Christian tracts or Bibles, I doubt I would have taken those jobs [& such small pay] if I had not been raised under God's Hand. Offering the cup of water...as it were. ...Just never thot of it that way.

 

 

......but my point is that the type of persecution/danger/deprivation that we assume is meant in this verse, .....well to me, it's seeming like it's a LOT more possible in this day. {sigh} God and I have been having a running conversation today about what He *might* have in mind eventually and how I *might* react to that.... My response is supposed to be as young Mary's statement to the angel announcing her virgin pregnancy..... "be it unto me as you have said."

 

And that is what I said....

 

 

....I pray that will always be what I say......

 

 

MtRider [solemn but glorious verse...]

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