No matter what
Sit quietly and take a few long, deep breaths. Focus your thoughts on Jesus, on his cross, on his empty tomb, and ask God to fill you with a deep awareness of his unbreakable love.
What glorious words, as Paul sums up all he has taught us so far! Read through the passage again (this time from verse 28), and notice what God has done for and given to us. This is the solid ground on which we stand. All this is ours already, though we do not yet have it in full.
In verse 18 Paul said that the troubles of this life ‘are not worth comparing’ with God’s glory. They may appear strong, but God is stronger. Even at their worst they cannot separate us from God’s love in Christ (vs 35,39). Even in our darkest moments God is working for our ‘good’ (v 28). Nothing – nothing – even our own weakness, can frustrate his will for us: that we might be ‘conformed to the image of his Son ... the firstborn among many brothers and sisters’ (v 29). That’s us!
This does not minimise suffering, but maximises the glory, love and power of God: nothing can separate us from God’s love; nothing can stop his will for us and his work in our lives. Nothing.
We live in the tension between what we already and do not yet have in Christ. Struggles are unavoidable. But God has the last word. Declare verses 37 to 39 over a situation with which you – or someone close to you – is struggling.