In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. Romans 8: 38
Recently, I went into our walk-in attic to look for a certain book that I haven’t been able to find. I had hoped it was packed away in one of the boxes filled with things we have collected over the years and wanted to keep. Thankfully, I found it without too much searching and even ran across my yearbooks from 31 years of teaching. I had not looked at them in years!
I just sat in the floor, going through the pages, looking at the faces of my former students and remembering the experiences we shared. It seems impossible that it has been so many years and even more amazing to see the young men and women they have become! Many I run into from time to time, or see on Facebook, and others I keep up with through family and friends. But then there are some that I have heard nothing about in the many years since. I wonder how they are and what is going on in their lives.
Hhmmm . . . what memories, and the thrills and heartaches of those young teens! There was so much peer pressure, and sadly, for many of them, their perceptions of who they were, were based on how they thought others perceived them. I remember hearing so many comments, such as, “I can’t do this. It’s too hard and everyone knows that I’m dumb anyway!” Or “No one likes me because I don’t have the right clothes and they think I’m ugly.” Or “There’s no use to try out for the team, because my friends say that I’m no good!” It was heartbreaking to hear, and many of them had family and friend relationship issues, as well. They had all these worries, and I was trying to get them to think about figurative language, the plot of a novel, and linking verbs. No wonder they weren’t interested!
But don’t we adults do the same? Many of us have these same thoughts in our minds that we can’t accomplish certain things or be who we wish we could be. We concentrate on what we don’t have more than we do on our blessings. And sometimes, we get so bogged down by life and its problems, that we become paralyzed by fear, anxiety, frustration, anger, sadness, or just plain indifference. Then it becomes difficult to focus on anything else but our own problems. We may even find ourselves just going through the motions of life, just living day to day, taking those we love for granted, and missing out on a life of contentment and joy.
God wants more for our lives than this. He wants us to do more than just survive or cope with whatever circumstances we are in. It is his desire that we live with hope and have confidence in who we are and in what He can do for our lives. He wants to give us the strength and the will to deal with whatever comes our way, whether it’s personal or health issues, relationship problems, financial concerns, job stress, or grief over the loss of loved ones.
With Him, there is nothing we can’t overcome. “In all these things we are MORE than conquerors through him who loved us.” Through His unabiding love and mercy for us, He will carry us through whatever we may face. It may be a daily challenge for us to let go – to totally place our lives in His hands and trust Him, but wouldn’t it be the greatest gift to have His assurance that we can?
In the very next verse after this one, Romans 8: 39, we read, “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
We find His assurance in those words. He is always with us and we can always trust in Him. May we feel His love and let His peace fill our hearts.
Dear God, how grateful we are that we can do all things through you. Thank you for loving us, and giving us the strength and assurance of your presence. Amen