Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? … No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
More than Conquerors through Christ
Divide and conquer can be defined as a strategy in which you gain or maintain power by breaking up larger concentrations of power into smaller less powerful pieces. Those smaller pieces can then be overcome one by one until total conquest is achieved. Three or four wolves don’t take on a herd of hundreds all at once. They separate one or two from the rest and get their meal that way. It’s a tried and true strategy employed in military matters, politics, sociology and even simple mathematics.
It’s a strategy also used by the devil, the world and our own sinful nature to conquer us. Trouble comes into our lives. Family members fight with each other, bringing strife and conflict into the home. Hardship strikes. Health suddenly takes a turn for the worse, the medical bills pile up and the prognosis is far from hopeful. Persecution rises up. You’re mocked for your faith, belittled, marginalized and shunned. Across the world, believers are marched in front of video cameras before being put to death.
We see the trouble all around us. We feel and experience it in our own lives. And soon we are caught in a frenzy of fear as the swirling worries and stresses drag us deeper and deeper into despair. At such times how easy it is to forget about God’s love for us, or to think that God neither knows nor cares about us. Feeling separated from God’s love we are easy prey.
But the apostle Paul reminds us of an indisputable, unchangeable fact no matter how bad things may look. In Christ we are more than conquerors. Jesus, our champion, conquered our sins of worry, fear, and doubt with his perfect life and innocent death on the cross. He conquered death by rising to life again. Against enemies that no one else in human history has overcome, Jesus prevailed. Through faith in Jesus, he gives us that victory. Through faith in Jesus, we are made more than conquerors over our own sin, over death and over the devil himself. Jesus died and rose again for sinners one and all. That love conquers strife and brings peace. That truth comforts and encourages the worried, the fearful, the persecuted and the dying, because no matter what we face he gives us everlasting life in heaven.
So in all circumstances and especially in trouble, hardship, persecution, famine, nakedness, danger and even death, remember this: Jesus conquers it all, and in all these things we are more than conquerors through Christ who loved us.
Savior Jesus, when I face trouble and hardship, hold your cross and empty tomb before my weary and worried eyes. Remind me that in you I have forgiveness of all my sin and life eternal in heaven. Comfort and encourage me that in you, I am more than a conqueror in all things. Amen.
The focus of devotions on Thursdays and Fridays in February is Truth for Today.