As we write this, it is nearing Thanksgiving, and it is a common practice to say what you are thankful for. Family, friends, health, food, housing, and work are frequent themes that children and adults alike name. God commands us to be thankful as we pray, so these are good gifts to thank God for. But they are also potentially temporary. In UBC College Bible study, we have been studying Job, where we see an example of someone who loses all that he has in one day. In the New Testament, Paul loses his freedom and ministry when he is put in prison. In today’s news, wildfires are still raging through California, robbing people of homes and loved ones. If you dwell too long on it, the actual or potential loss that humans suffer can be crushing.
But even in captivity, Paul writes Romans 8:31-39, a joyful celebration of God’s ever-present love. “Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?” (v. 35). Paul recognizes that loss of safety and security is a real possibility, but goes on to say, “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced 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” (vv. 37-39). What am amazing promise! There is NOTHING that can take away God’s love in Christ. There’s something to be truly thankful for.
Brent and Amanda Newsom