THE SERVANT GENERAL
THE WAY FORWARD IN CHRIST
GOD IS FOR US
Today’s reading: Romans 8:31-39
“If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Rom
8:31b). Practically everyone? There are the atheists, the
secular humanists, the modernists, the reproductive health
crowd, the homosexualists, the liberal Catholics (the enemy
within), the radical Islamists, the pornographers. There are
the antagonistic parish priests, the unwelcoming parish leaders,
the dissident community leaders, the disaffected community
members. There are the powerful forces of the US government
under Obama, the European Union, elements of the United Nations,
billionaire philanthropists, giant Planned Parenthood, international
liberal media. If we are for God and if God is for us, using
us for His work, then we can expect to be opposed by practically
the whole world!
that is OK if God is on our side. That is normal and expected
if we are on the side of God. Even as “we are being
slain all the day” and “are looked upon as sheep
to be slaughtered” (Rom 8:36), still, “we conquer
overwhelmingly through him who loved us.” (Rom 8:37).
Against such overwhelming forces, we are the ones who conquer
is the all-powerful Creator, the Omnipotent Being. Jesus is
the King of kings and Lord of lords, who reigns over all.
No one and nothing can withstand the power of God the Most
High. So indeed if God is for us, who can be against us? Who
can overwhelm or overpower us? Who can come against us and
prevail? No one!
But God’s ways are mysterious. Death is life. Sorrow
is joy. Weakness is power. The last is first. Pain is gain.
In order to win for us our salvation, God did not come in
power but in weakness. God “did not spare his own Son
but handed him over for us all” (Rom 8:32a). But Jesus’
death (and resurrection) has brought us life. Now we are to
proclaim that life in Christ, that salvation won on the cross.
And despite the tremendous opposing forces in the world, these
are not to block our work.
Father gave His Son Jesus, so “how will he not also
give us everything else along with him?” (Rom 8:32b).
God gave up the most precious one of all, His very own Son.
Will God then withhold the less precious gifts, which are
everything else? So if we are to proclaim that Son, and the
love of God manifested in that sacrifice, then we can expect
all-out support from Him who sends us forth. We need never
fear, because God is for us.
worldly forces “will bring a charge against God’s
chosen ones” (Rom 8:33a). Secular humanists will charge
us with imposing our faith or religion on them. Homosexualists
will charge faithful Christians who follow their consciences
with discrimination and bigotry. Courts will charge pro-lifers
demonstrating peacefully at abortion clinics. And Christians
will be convicted! But it matters not, for “it is God
who acquits us.” (Rom 8:33b).
The worldly forces “will condemn” us (Rom 8:34a).
There is growing intense persecution of Christians, whether
in the Middle East at the hands of radical Islamists, or in
the west at the hands of liberal and secularist governments.
Christians are falsely accused and condemned by sharia courts
of blaspheming Allah or the Koran. Elderly pro-lifers are
condemned to prison terms. Homeschooling parents are condemned
and separated from their children. But we always look to Jesus,
who himself was unjustly condemned and killed. “It is
Christ Jesus who died, rather, was raised, who also is at
the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us.”
(Rom 8:34b). We look to him for strength to endure, and even
rejoice in sharing his suffering, knowing that if we persevere,
we would also sit with him at the right hand of God.
The worldly forces will try to “separate us from the
love of Christ” (Rom 8:35a). This is by causing negatives
to come our way, such as “anguish, or distress, or persecution,
or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or the sword” (Rom
8:35b). We will be tempted to give up on Jesus and turn to
the world for relief, to give up on our divine work and turn
to personal human pursuits, to look not to our eternal reward
in heaven but to secular rewards in this world. But these
will not happen unless we allow it. If we keep our eyes fixed
on Jesus, if we persevere in our work despite difficulties
and pain, if we fully trust in the God who has already won
for us our salvation, then “neither death nor life,
nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future
things, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature
will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ
Jesus our Lord.” (Rom 8:38-39).
then shall we say to this?” (Rom 8:31a). We can only
say: Amen and amen!