By Hedieh Mirahmadi
Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will affliction or distress or persecution or hunger or lack of sufficient clothing or danger or the sword? …. No, but in all these things we prevail completely through the one who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.1
We cannot allow the opposition we face to make us doubt or forget how committed God is to His plan for us. Although we continue to struggle with the presence of sin in our lives, or with the seeming demise of the moral fabric of society around us, we must hold tightly to what the Holy Spirit is trying to do in us and through us, without regard for people’s reaction to it. Every individual believer who receives the Holy Spirit is going through the sanctification process. Our focus is to become more Christ-like so He is glorified, which fulfills God’s purpose on the earth. It is being Christ-like that draws others to us and brings about God’s will for humanity. When we focus on bringing forth our Divine purpose and gifts, it accomplishes His ultimate goals not just for us, but for whoever He puts in our path to be saved, impacted, or helped. Whatever benefit we gain in being conformed to God’s image is secondary to His greater purpose in seeing His Son properly honored.2
I am not going to pretend this is easy, it is not. Declaring that there is only ONE way to Heaven through belief in Christ or that all of humanity is equal regardless of race or gender, are NOT popular opinions these days.
Having left Islam, it saddens me to hear even Christians make the false claim that we all worship the same God and each religious path can lead to the “truth”. There is only one God and no one will reach His presence except through faith in Christ. I understand and believe that now but I did not believe that as a Muslim. So, the greatest gift we can give a Muslim is to lovingly lead them to this ultimate Truth. I wish someone would have explained that to me earlier in my life! However, when I first wanted to accept Christ, I was terrified of what other Muslims may do to me. It is these verses, Romans 8:31-39, that gave me peace. Accepting Christ gave me God’s protection. Nothing could happen to me that did not pass through Him first.
Do not be content to give false or comfortable versions of a “truth” that leaves the individual without salvation or the love and protection God promises through faith in Christ. The listener may not accept or believe it, but that is up to God. Others may get angry and call us extremists or racists, but our duty is to speak the Truth– regardless of the outcome. When we do this, God stands with us.
The same is true in the discussion about race. Faith in Christ is the great equalizer. No law or absurd solution like defunding the police brings about equality. Only faith and the transformative power of the Holy Spirit will bring social justice. In Paul’s time, the struggle was between Jews and Gentiles. The former claimed superiority but Paul adamantly rebuked it. It does not matter what family we are born in to. The only thing that distinguishes us is whether we are children of God, grafted into His family through faith in Christ.
That is, those who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted as the seed.3
Standing on this principle is also widely unpopular today. Yet it cannot change how we defend a Biblical truth.
So, what does all this mean? If God has determined to stand with us, tell me, who then could ever stand against us?4
Paul reminds us that suffering is inevitable but that we will be victorious in the end. Let’s find peace and comfort in that reality.
Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.5
1 Romans 8: 35, 37-39
2 Romans 8: 28-30
3 Romans 9: 8
4 Romans 8: 31
5 Romans 8: 37