Have you ever been hurt? Have you ever been attacked when you least expected? Have you ever walked into a room expecting to see an old friend only to be lambasted from someone you’ve never even met? Have you ever been betrayed, pushed aside, or marginalized?
I would have to say that if you’ve lived any amount of years at some point you have had feelings like this. It’s at times like this that we question where God is. It’s only natural to do this, we look at the world around us and see destruction, devastation and frustration. We ask ourselves where God is. Even Jesus asked the same question when he was on the cross. He knew God was there but for the first time in the history of the universe there was a degree of separation that he had never felt.
It is at times like this when I’m feeling like I’m being hit on every side and everywhere I turn there is somebody waiting to attack that I think of the apostle Paul. Here’s a man who truly sacrificed everything he had to serve God. By his own admission he was stoned, shipwrecked, beaten, imprisoned, and during at least one of his missionary trips felt betrayed by a friend; and at the end of his life he sat the dark cold prison cell where almost all of his friends had completely abandoned him. Through all that Paul remains consistent in his love of God. He mentions this when he talks about the times that he has had abundance and the times that he is had nothing yet in it all he has found contentment and a peace resting in God.
Paul wrote the majority of the New Testament. He had an intellect that was huge and when he had some time he put pen to paper and wrote down the greatest theological paper known to man; the book of Romans. It’s clear to anyone who’s ever read the book of Romans that this book stands out among all the others. Right in the middle of that book sits a chapter that shines like a beacon on a foggy night. Chapter 8 in the book of Romans for all intents and purposes is probably the single greatest chapter in the entire New Testament aside from the actual words of Jesus that are peppered throughout the Gospels.
Paul writes in Romans chapter 8 that we know God causes all things to work together for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His purposes. That is a powerful statement to be able to rest in the peace and comfort of knowing that every circumstance good or bad, every attack, every frustration, every irritation, every betrayal, will eventually work together for ultimate good. Paul closes that chapter with this statement:
“For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38 – 39)
If you are hurting, if you’ve felt betrayed, if you feel like your spouse or parent no longer loves you; turn to God. He loves the unlovable, he is a father to the fatherless, He desperately wants to hold you in his arms and whisper words of love and encouragement into your ears. Psalms 46 tells us that God is our refuge and strength help in our present troubles. Jesus tells us in John chapter 16 that He has spoken all His words to us so that we may have peace in Him. He even goes on to say in another gospel that He will not leave us or forsake us, for he is with us even to the ends of the world. No matter what your circumstance God loves you. He is intentional and active in seeking you. He tells us that if we seek Him, we will find Him. If we draw close to Him, He will draw close to us. People may let you down but God will never let you go; seek Him today.
Pastor AL Weeks is a, author, teacher and preacher. He and his family serve in First Baptist Church of Kenai. The folks at FBCK are a warm fellowship of believers that are committed to speaking the truth in love. Join them Sunday mornings at 10:45 a.m.