Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love?
I would say this is a fair question, asked countless times by people over the span of creation.
Living right now on this side of Christ’s death and resurrection, we have heard and believed of His defeat of sin and death, yet we still live amidst pain and hardship. These things present countless opportunities for doubt to creep in forcing our hearts to question if we are truly loved with the everlasting love that we read of in the Bible.
Paul reminds us that yes it is true, despite all these hardships we face. Yes they exist. But despite all of these things, overwhelming victory is ours.
That sounds impressive. No…amazing. No, wait…completely incredible!! But wait – What about my personal pain. my personal heartache? I can’t see overwhelming victory in these. It’s impossible. Paul was either a super-human, or he’s just got it all wrong. That’s a scary and slippery slope. We declare and believe that all of Scripture is God-breathed and able to transform our lives. That means even the hard battles that we have to fight in order to strengthen our belief and trust.
Think of a sports game. Pick your favorite game and favorite team, and then their opponent – one higher up in the stats right now and seemingly impossible to defeat. Sit back and watch them defy the odds. The excitement is crazy. People jump off their seats, dance around the room and shout. Something that, by all odds, should not happen, did. This happens for us as believers too.
It first takes a surrender of the moment to the foot of the cross. It takes our heart saying, “I can’t carry this. I don’t want to. Please take it, Sweet Savior.” Those moments are beautiful ones, because He is faithful to respond. It’s when we aren’t burdened and weary from what we carry that joy can come and peace can reign. Here we can find refreshment from the Holy Spirit, our Comforter. That’s called living the abundant life that Jesus promised us. In the world of sports and that of Paul the apostle – this called an overwhelming victory.
Can I get an amen?
Maybe not yet? Let’s keep going though.
Jesus calls Peter out of the boat and into the waves around them. We know the story of how Peter. He starts out walking on the waves but grows afraid. Peter begins to sink.
“Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. “You have so little faith,” Jesus said. ‘Why did you doubt me?'” (Matthew 14:31 NLT)
The moment doesn’t just end with a reprimand. We aren’t meant to live in a place of defeat, instead discipline spurs us forward into righteousness and truth. Once Peter was pulled out of the water and both were back in the boat, the Scripture tells us that the waves stopped. I guarantee you it wasn’t a coincidence. Jesus showed the disciples in the boat not only His power to tackle the impossible with ease, but also His power to calm that which seems impossible. The disciples were filled with awe and praise for who Christ is.
I’m reminded that even when we are weak and give way to doubt, fear, and worry – even when we fail to see and believe and stand in the overwhelming victory that is ours – we have hope. And why? Because we are loved. That’s just another lesson in grace.
“When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer.” (Psalm 94:19 NLT)
May renewed hope and cheer, and overwhelming victory be yours in Christ Jesus.