I have been asked many times in these terrible days of terror, “Why would God allow this if He is all-powerful and good? Or, “What is God doing?” Others question, “Where is God when that awful terror is happening? How can He let that happen?"
These are the natural questions to ask, but in Romans 8:31-39, Paul reveals the best questions that require supernatural faith to ask.
Paul lived in days of terror, sword, famine, peril, persecution and death for God’s people. Paul says bluntly, “As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter” (Romans 8:36). Paul could have asked, “Why, God” “What, God” or “Where is God?” He doesn’t, but rather he asks far better questions that demonstrate the divine perspective. Here are some the best questions with the answers upon which to hold as we live in terrible times of terror.
If God be for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31) The answer is not, “No one is against us.” The answer to this question is, “It does not matter who is against us, for God, the all-powerful conqueror who is good, is for us.” He will perform and use whatever is happening to perform that good work in us that He has begun, to conform us to the image of His Son.
Shall He not with Jesus freely give us all things? (Romans 8:32) The answer is an unqualified, “Yes.” The things of which Paul speaks, however, are not material things like gold or silver, but the circumstantial things and spiritual things that will lead to eternal blessing. God freely gives us all the things that will work together for good and lead us to be conformed to the image of His Son. No terrorist can rob us of these things God has freely given to us.
“Who is He that condemneth?” (Romans 8:34) That is, while a terrorist may want to condemn us and may even feel we should be condemned because of the demonic, dark, delusion of his soul, no terrorist can condemn us because Christ Himself has died, is risen and is seated at the right hand of God. The answer again is, “It does not matter because man is powerless to condemn.” God Himself has justified us in Christ and while man can kill the body, he has no power to condemn the soul. God has not only justified us, but He has predestinated us, called us, and glorified us in His sight.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? The answer of course is “no one and nothing.” A terrorist can pressure us with heavy burdens, squeeze us into narrow places, hate us, shame us with hunger and poverty, and threaten us with death’s reality, but he cannot separate us from the love of Christ. Where is Jesus in terrible moments of terror? He is at the right hand of God, and makes intercession for us. Moreover, whatever happens cannot divide us from Him but the suffering drives us to Him. When Stephen was stoned, Jesus was standing at God’s right hand and heard Stephen’s prayer, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” (Acts 7:59). Because of Christ’s victorious position, even in terrible times of terror, we are more than conquerors through Him who has loved us because even the worst suffering will work to conform us to the image of His Son.
Our foundation does not dissolve in days of terror but stands sure. Christ’s death on the cross has put death to death for He rose in power and ever lives to intercede for us in our dire need. Jesus’ resurrection turned the most unjust act in human history into the very greatest deed ever done on earth, for through the Gospel we have forgiveness of sin, deliverance from hell, peace with God, eternal life and so much more. The Gospel demonstrates that God can take the very worst situation and turn it into the greatest good. Yes! The reason we ask the questions above is because we live in the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ.
Matt Recker is the pastor of Heritage Baptist Church in New York City.