This is week 5 of The Shelter of God’s Promises online Bible study. Since, we took off last week to focus on the importance of the Easter week, I am going to briefly discuss chapters four and five.
The promise of chapter four was confidence. This is brought out in the key verse, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). We can be confident that God is working everything out for our good because we love Him. I encourage you to work on memorizing this verse, if you have not already done so. It has such power behind it.
I am sure that as a Christian, you have heard this verse several times. You might have even quoted it to someone who was facing a difficult situation. Let me ask you a question, do you believe the promise in Romans 8:28? It is one thing to say it, but quite another to live like we believe it. One reason why this may be difficult to believe is because the storm in your life may be so overwhelming. However, no matter what the situation is or how all encompassing it may seem, God is right there with you. He did not create everything and simply walk away. He is intimately involved in the details, both big and small, in each of our lives. Take a moment and think of the dark times in your life, how did God make Himself known to you?
Another key point in this verse is the wording “his purpose.” Often we lose sight of this. We think everything needs to work out according to our purpose. Keep in mind that God has a greater purpose and plan for each one of us. Sometimes that means we have to go through the fire or trials of life. Think for a moment about a piece of steel. Alone it is worth only about $5. However, when it is shaped, hammered, and put through the fire to make springs for a watch the value increases to thousands of dollars. The same principle is true in our lives. Through this refining, God will shape and mold us into an even more valuable individual.
Because God is powerful and loving, we can be confident that He will work out all the details in our life for good, according to His purpose. What a wonderful promise to rest upon. Keep in mind we don’t need to be confident in ourselves, but rather in Him.
Moving on to chapter five, the promise is God’s love. It is hard for us to wrap our minds around God’s love because our human relationships fail from time to time. God’s love, however, is unending and pure. This promise spreads and affects more than just us. As Sheila writes in The Shelter of God’s Promises Participant’s Guide, “ When we live knowing no matter what we do or say, God will love us, our lives open up in freedom and the possibilities for spreading His love to the world seem endless” (p. 93). This brings us to the verse for this week, “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else is all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39). In these verses, Paul lists several different things that cannot separate us from God’s love. Therefore, the promise of God’s love gives us shelter, as well as, security. There is absolutely nothing that can separate us from God’s love. This promise makes me think of Sidewalk Prophet’s song, “You love me anyway” (http://youtu.be/2_sDXpv-5Kk). How has God’s love impacted you and the way you impact those around you?