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 this isn’t it? Is God really here? Is he really on our side? Is he really working all things for our good? Is he really not mad at me? Is he really listening?
In Exodus 17 the story is told of the Israelites in the wilderness on their way to Sinai. It seems as though every other chapter in Exodus is a story of them being hungry and thirsty 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 ask 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 nation together in front of him. He gathered the elders of Israel as a jury. And he had Moses stand up in front with the staff of God’s judgment – the same staff that was used to inflict the 10 plagues upon the Egyptians. Then, in dramatic fashion, 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. Without the presentation of evidence or witnesses against God, he went straight to the sentencing stage of the trial. God told Moses to STRIKE THE ROCK with the staff. Moses hit the rock, and water ran out in rivers.
Asking “is God here?” or “is God for us?” is a question of doubt at best and rebellion at worst. But God’s answer to this primal question in the wilderness, and in all of our hearts, was to take their deserved judgment for faithlessness 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.
Is God for us?
How do we know?
Romans 8:32. 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?
Because God has allowed himself to be struck by his own judgment. The judgment we deserve. The judgment of the cross.
If you are looking for any other proof of God’s love, God’s faithfulness, God’s nearness, 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, ever against you. And any force or power that would raise its hand against you is now the enemy of God. An enemy that God died to destroy for us.
Is God for us or not?
“To live is Christ” means that God is for us, and nothing against us will stand. How do we know? Because Christ died for us and united his life to ours. And if God would do that most difficult of things, we can know that he will also graciously give us all things with Jesus in the end.
Do you believe God is for you?
You in Christ
How does being in Christ prove that God will always be on your side?
Christ in you
How might you live today in the confidence of Romans 8:31-32?
Playlist: God is For Us.
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