If you were asked to pinpoint a chapter in the Bible that truly encourages you, what would it be? If I had to choose, I would recommend Romans 8. There is so much in this one chapter that can lift you up when you feel defeated. It’s been said numerous times, but only because of how true it is: we all have rough points in our lives so it is very important to have sources that we can look to. The scriptures will never disappoint, and never run short of messages that encourage. At this time, there are two sections in Romans 8 that I would like to discuss: verses 1-4 and verses 31-39.
Paul opens this chapter with some of the most beautiful words in scripture, “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (vv. 1). No matter what you are facing in life, as long as you are faithful, you never have to worry because Jesus saves you from condemnation. The next three verses explain what has been done for us by God, and how it is so different than anything else (in the case of Romans 8, the Mosaic Law). These verses address the Jews and state that the Law had one small flaw, not because of God but because of man — it could not separate us from sin and death. However, because of His love, God sent His Son as a man to be the offering for sin, not just their sin, but everyone’s sin. We do not deserve the grace of man, and yet because man will at times fall short, God has given a law based upon grace and mercy. How remarkable is it that the creator of all life is willing to do and give so much us!
Skipping down to verses 31-39, everything that Paul has been talking about leads up to this one point. He says such things as, “If God is for us who can be against us?” (v. 31); “Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies” (v. 33); “Christ Jesus is He who died … was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. Who will separate us from the love of Christ?” (vv. 34-35); and finally in the last three verses, “But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, northings present, nor things to come, nor powers,nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” The rhetorical questions in these verses are so moving because they emphasize how much is accomplished, and how loved we are through our God in heaven. How amazing is it that if I submit to God and put my faith in Him, there is nothing that this world can ever do to defeat me? That should take away all the fear and anxiety from our lives!
Reading these verses reminds me of one other passage that is just as comforting and will hopefully encourage us. God says to His servant Jeremiah in Jeremiah 15:20, “Then I will make you to this people a fortified wall of bronze; And though they fight against you, They will not prevail over you; For I am with you to save you And deliver you.” Those words are just true for you and me as they were for Jeremiah. God will not let us be defeated when we trust in Him; instead He will build us up into something that cannot be defeated or torn down. So take heart, because if you will simply put your trust in God, and heed the words that His Son Jesus said years ago, you are stronger than anything this world or Satan can throw at you. You are truly more than a conqueror.