Hold tight to the following words!
“What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If GOD is for us, who can ever be against us? And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from GOD’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from GOD’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the Love of GOD that is revealed in CHRIST JESUS our LORD.” – Romans 8:31, 38-39 NLT
I hope you will take time to listen to Matt Maher sing “What A Friend.” The song was written in 1855 by Joseph M. Scriven as a poem to comfort his mother in Ireland. Since then, it has been set to music and translated into many languages, and has been performed by artists as diverse as Alan Jackson, Aretha Franklin, and Ike and Tina Turner. To me, it perfectly illustrates what these Scriptures are saying! Verse two begins with these words:
Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged—
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
We are all guilty of something. We have all been disappointed, and we have all disappointed, sometimes inadvertently and sometimes purposefully. We have all been hurt, and we have all hurt others. We are all beset with trials and problems, so how do we handle them and resolve them? I know I deserve / have deserved discipline and punishment for the myriad of misadventures that have occurred throughout my life. I am not guilty of actual murder, but I have considered it, so does that make me guilty in my heart? Of the other commandments, I have broken them all. GOD wasn’t Number One for most of my adult life – I am guilty of trying to stuff Him into a corner and ignoring Him. We [humans] are guilty of poor judgement and decisions that take us far away from our Father, when all He really wants is our Love and obedience. We are guilty collectively, societally, and individually, of doubting GOD and betraying His Love for us. We lie, cheat, envy, covet, and steal; we have many other gods before us. Sports, shopping, careers, food, even family, get in the way of our worship of the One True GOD.
What’s to be done? How to we get to the point that we can claim the promise in Romans 8? Simple. Accept that JESUS is the Son of the Living God, that He came to earth to live as a man, and that He submitted Himself as the final blood sacrifice to save us from our sins and eternal death; He was resurrected from the grave and lives today and forever and ever, amen.
Guilty? Yes. Flawed and imperfect? Yes.
Forgiven? YES, Hallelujah! Can you say the same?