Romans 8:31. What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?
Is there any thought, any truth, any reality more encouraging and uplifting than this – God is for us?!
But it’s easy to doubt and question this isn’t it? To question God himself. Is God really here? Is he really on our side? Is he really working all things for our good? Is he actually not mad at me? Is he even listening?
In Exodus 17 the story is told of the Israelites in the wilderness on their way to Sinai. Every other chapter in Exodus is a story of them either being thirsty or hungry and grumbling about it. This is how Moses describes it:
Exodus 17:7. And [Moses] called the name of the place Massah and Meribah, because of the quarreling of the people of Israel, and because they tested the Lord by saying, “Is the Lord among us or not?”
Is God among us or not? Or, as Paul would say it, “Is God for us or against us?”
How did God answer this question in Exodus 17? He let the accusations play out. A trial ensued. The People v God. God gathered the people. He gathered the elders as a jury. He had Moses stand up front with the staff of God’s judgment – the same staff that inflicted the 10 Plagues upon the Egyptians. God stood on a rock in front of the nation, allowing the rock to become the manifestation of God himself. And then something amazing happened. God told Moses to STRIKE THE ROCK with the staff. And the water ran out in rivers.
Does that answer your question?
Asking “is God here?” or “is God for us?” is a question of doubt at best and rebellion at worst. God’s answer in the wilderness was to take their deserved punishment and to allow himself to be stricken by his own judgment staff, and in so doing to pour out his life for them in the form of crystal clear, life giving water.
His answer for us today is not too different.
Is God for us?
How do we know?
God allowed himself to be struck by his own judgment, judgment we deserve, on the cross.
He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?
The answer to life’s biggest, most important questions is found in the gospel. In the giving of Christ by God. God did not spare his son. He sent him to die for us all and then united us with him in order to give us all things.
If you are looking for any other answer, it will not satisfy. The proof of God being for us is not your job promotion, or your engagement, or your cured cancer, or your honor roll student, or your #blessed life. If we place our hope in these earthly things we will ultimately be wrecked. These things will pass away. Or they may never come at all.
In the same way your misfortune, pain, and suffering are not the proof that God is against you. When you are in Christ God is never against you. And anyone,or anything else who is against you is his enemy.
The proof of God being for us is Christ. His death FOR US and our union WITH HIM. The proof is the completion of our salvation. We are – foreordained, predestined to Christ-likeness, called, justified, glorified . These are the all things that God will give us one day, and, In Christ, we already have them! “To live is Christ” means that God is for us, and nothing against us will stand. How do we know? Because Jesus died for us and we are one with him. Full stop.
Do you believe this?