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What shall we say to these things?

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?  He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?  Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies.  Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. Romans 8:31-34

 

What confidence is here in these words of St. Paul, “If God is for us, who can be against us”!  How much comfort and consolation is right here for the sinner trapped in his sin, the doubter who worries about God’s help, the sufferer bearing the weight of his heavy cross!

These words are the very Word of God, reminding us of WHO it is that is for us, WHO it is that delivered His own Son, WHO it is who will give us all things, WHO it is who justifies (declares us to be not guilty before God because of our sin).

Because God does not condemn you, you are not condemned.  Because God justifies you on account of His Son, you are justified.  Because God delivered Jesus to death on the cross for you, He will indeed give you all things.  You thus have no need to worry about any lack.  Only continue to trust in the Lord, for His Word will indeed come to pass.

Because God is for you (see Romans 5:1ff), no one and no thing can be against you (Romans 8:35ff).  Not even Satan is able to accuse you before your Heavenly Father.

So then, why is it that we doubt these tremendous blessings of God, lay blame upon others, grumble, complain, point the finger, and say, “woe are we”?  Are God’s Word and His promises not ‘good enough’?  Do they not apply to our situation?  Of course they do!

The Psalmist confidently writes, “God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.  Therefore we will not fear, Even though the earth be removed, And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though its waters roar and be troubled, Though the mountains shake with its swelling (Psalm 46:1-3).

Such words may sound inapplicable.  What of local, national, and international catastrophes and turmoil?  Do you, as a baptized child of God, have any reason to fear any of these things or anything else, whether it be with regard to yourself, others, or God’s church?  Not at all, for in Christ, you have peace with God.  In Christ, you have everlasting life and salvation.  In Christ, you have nothing but certainty and confidence of God’s will toward you.

So “Sing praise to the LORD, You saints of His, And give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name” (Psalm 30:4).

Listen to the mercies of the Lord and trust in Him.  Cast away all doubt and fear and turn to the Lord Christ.  Believe in Him, for He alone is your hope and you stay, tomorrow and today.

Luther

“When the devil accuses us and says: “You are a sinner; therefore you are damned,” then we can answer him and say: “Because you say that I am a sinner, therefore I shall be righteous and be saved.” “No,” says the devil, “you will be damned.” “No,” I say, “for I take refuge in Christ, who has given Himself for my sins. Therefore, Satan, you will not prevail against me as you try to frighten me by showing me the magnitude of my sins and to plunge me into anguish, loss of faith, despair, hatred, contempt of God, and blasphemy. In fact, when you say that I am a sinner, you provide me with armor and weapons against yourself, so that I may slit your throat with your own sword and trample you underfoot. You yourself are preaching the glory of God to me; for you are reminding me, a miserable and condemned sinner, of the fatherly love of God, who ‘so loved the world that He gave His only Son, etc.’ (John 3:16). You are reminding me of the blessing of Christ my Redeemer. On His shoulders, not on mine, lie all my sins. For ‘the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all,’ and ‘for the transgressions of His people He was stricken’ (Is. 53:6, 8). Therefore when you say that I am a sinner, you do not frighten me; but you bring me immense consolation.”  (Luther’s Lectures on Galatians, LW 26, p36-37).

Prayer: Heavenly Father, keep me from doubting Your mighty Word. Help me to trust, not what I see, but what you say.  Give me confidence, not in my doings, but in Yours alone, for Jesus’ sake.  Amen.

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