Death, life and the love of God


“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38–39, ESV)

HeartbeatThis verse is straight forward. It presents no interpretational difficulties. Why then do I struggle to live in the comfort that these verses should provide?

Part of the problem of living in that comfort is that I often feel as though I need to earn God’s love. Yes, I know that this is silly. My theology is sound enough to know that God loves me unconditionally as proved by Jesus offering himself on my behalf. This is not a knowledge issue, it is a heart issue.

It is interesting to me that the Apostle Paul goes into such a detailed list of things that cannot separate us from God’s love. When I look at the list, I see things that cause me to loose perspective.

Death is unnerving. We don’t talk about it much, but all of us will eventually experience it. Perhaps we don’t talk about it because we’re a little afraid of it. We know that Christ defeated death but yet the uncertainty about dying remains.

Life can get very complicated and overwhelming. Just reading the newspaper can cause uncertainty about life and the future. News of a friend’s sickness or financial troubles is unnerving. The words government and corruption are too often used in the same sentence.

Angels scare the bejeebers out of everyone who encounters one. Demons are just as scary and truly intend harm for us.

The list continues and you get the point. The point is that there are many things that get thrown at us that can cause us to lose sight of the fact that God loves us. Or perhaps it is only me that struggles with this, but I doubt it is only me.

I am glad that Paul, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, penned these words of encouragement. No matter how bad I feel that I’m messing up, I can take comfort that there is nothing inside or outside of me that can take away God’s love for me. I cannot make God stop loving me.

There is an extravagance here that staggers the imagination. God’s love is so extreme that he will love me know matter what I do or what is done to me.

I don’t have to earn God’s love, I simply need to bask in it. To help us in that endeavor, here are the verses again:

“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38–39, ESV)