Abundant Joy!

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    No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. Rom 8:37

    {Taken from Oswald Chambers’ “My Utmost for His Highest” March 7, 2010}

    In the preceding verses (v.35-36), Paul writes “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: ‘For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered’ ”. I think Paul is trying to make two very important points here:

    1. Nothing – absolutely nothing – can ever separate the Believer in Christ from the love of God. He loves us completely and unconditionally, regardless of anything else. This idea is expanded on at the end of chapter 8.

    2. We overcome trials by going through them, not by avoiding them (“IN all these things”, referring to the list of trials in v. 35). So many times we ask God to take our struggles from us, yet these are the very things that bring us closer to Him and train us how to be godly (have you ever heard that if you pray for patience, God will give you people and circumstances that try your patience?). And we can actually find joy in the things that typically overwhelm us. Consider this – huge waves that would frighten an ordinary swimmer produce a great thrill for the surfer who has ridden them. Can we apply this concept to our own situations? The things we try to avoid or fight against – suffering, tribulation, and persecution – are the very things that produce abundant joy in us. “We are more than conquerors through Him” “in all these things” – not in spite of them, but in the midst of them. A saint doesn’t know the joy of the Lord in spite of tribulation but because of it (“I am exceedingly joyful in all our tribulation” – 2 Cor. 7:4).

    Our trials and difficulties are powerless to separate us from the love of God; in fact, they produce joy and bring us closer to Him. Don’t run from them or try to avoid them – pray for the strength and patience to endure them.

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