Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?
Separation from others can be a terrible thing. Studies have discovered that a profound sense of separation from others can bring on maladies such as panic attacks, difficulties with thinking, concentration, memory, and paranoia—problems with impulse control and harmful thoughts that don’t go away.
It is no surprise, then, that Satan does all he can to nurture a sense of separation in our lives as Christians—separation from others and especially separation from Jesus. After all, if he can convince me that something has come to isolate me from my Savior, then the devil has all the time in the world to work on me at his leisure.
With that in mind, the Holy Spirit moved the apostle Paul to pose the question: “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?” Then Paul gave some graphic examples of what can bring a sense of separation. He included trouble, hardship, persecution, famine, nakedness, danger, or sword. Carefully consider that list again, and please understand that, for Paul, these examples were not theoretical. He and his fellow Christians understood them to be real possibilities, descriptions of events that could really happen.
In this present world of suffering and loss, you and I may face the unspeakable: Suffocating hardships, severe persecution, crippling financial disaster, life-shattering illnesses, or accidents. Any one of these Satan can use to make the case that Jesus Christ is not here.
Again, Paul’s question: “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?” Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? Very quickly, Paul supplies the answer: No. No, in all these things, we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. The blood that has washed us clean is the same blood that seals his promise never to leave us, never to forsake us, to be with us always, to the very end of the age.
And so, who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Nothing. And no one.
Lord, as troubles come and go in my life, remind me that you never leave my side. Amen.