“Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”) No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.” Romans 8:35-37 NLT).
I can always tell when people don’t know God or understand how He works. They say foolish things like, “If God loves people, why are there people starving, homeless, dying of cancer, killing other people? That doesn’t sound like a loving God.” One person even told me in response to a comment I had made to an on-line article, “You can keep your god.” (The lower-case “g” was meant to intentionally disrespect). I told her, “Thank you, I will keep my God.”
Somehow, people have misunderstood and promoted falsehoods about how love works. They think that just because love exist, nothing bad will happen. These are those who are not very realistic or they have not known real love. Parents love their children–at least most do–but it does not mean they will not discipline them or keep bad things from happening to the children. God’s love does not prevent things from happening to people, but it guarantees–when the love is reciprocal–that no matter what happens, we are still victorious. I am reminded that God does not count victory the way we do and His way, is far better.
How can I say that? Let me share a little story. When my mother was dying of breast cancer she had lost so much weight, she was barely more than a walking skeleton. The day before she died, she lost all muscle function and could not swallow. My prayer that night, “Lord, take Your child home because no one deserves to suffer like this!” The next morning, she took her last breath, holding my hand. Victory–was finally hers as she made her transition to be in the presence of The Lord. (The spirit shall return to God who gave it–Ecclesiastes 12:7) The enemy no longer had any control over her.
It is the enemy of God–Satan–who causes suffering, not God. The enemy hates God and all He created and is determined to destroy as many as he can. But God–in His loving mercy–keeps us for Himself–even in suffering and in death–we are still victorious over the enemy’s plans.
And then–some things happen to people simply because of their disobedience, rebellion, and determination to live in opposition to God’s Word. That’s a choice they make and they must deal with the consequences. These have never acknowledged God or His love and cannot benefit from His declared victory over those who love Him.
We–who believe, understand, accept and love God–know that His appearance on earth was for our benefit because He has chosen us out of His love, know that regardless of all the dumb stuff that could ever happen–nothing will keep us from His presence and knowing victory in Jesus!