The Unconquerable Life
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“What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?”—Romans 8:311
If we are in Christ, and predestined to be like Him by an all-powerful sovereign God, then it stands to reason Paul would ask, “Who can be against us?” The reality is that all kinds of things can be against us, but to what effect? Paul asks another question. “Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen?”2 The reality is that there are many charges and condemnation that come against us, but to what effect?
The key to our security and serenity in a world where there is plenty working against us is our dependency on God, and knowing that in all things He works for the good. If God is for us, then no one can be against us to any avail, because we are on God’s agenda, and being moulded to the image of Christ, who, by His death, burial, and resurrection has already defeated anything that threatens us, including death. Paul writes, “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?”3 God does not leave us unequipped and stranded, but He gives us Jesus, through whom we are strengthened and sustained in every hardship.
We all encounter situations of tension and conflict, but if I may paraphrase, “If God is for us, who cares about anything against us?” As Christians, we are to live with a disposition of heart that says, “If God is for me, then I am secure, regardless of what comes against me.” The issue is not about conflicts and tension coming into our lives. They are part of life we all contend with. The issue is about our response to them. Paul says, “Who then is the one who condemns us? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.”4 Our response needs to be one of victory already received. Why? Because God is in us.
Paul then asks, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?”5 He says, “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors in Christ,” because “nothing in all creation is able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus.”6 It is in a love relationship with Jesus Christ that we place ourselves in the hands of an all-powerful, sovereign God who has given us the unconquerable life that we have in His Son.—Charles Price
Life certainly doesn’t always turn out the way we imagine it will. When it doesn’t, how can we survive the disappointment? How can we get through those dark times?
Often our greatest times of disappointment come when someone fails us, or we at least feel that they have. People can hurt us deeply. Sometimes they know what they are doing, while other times they’re only doing the best they know how to do with the tools they have. In either case, the level of fulfillment and happiness we experience in our lives doesn’t depend on other people; it depends on God. Of course, we do rely on other people for certain things, and it’s painful when they let us down. But the ultimate success or joy of our life should not depend on them. We don’t have to prolong suffering over what others do or don’t do to us, because ultimately our reward is in God’s hands.
It’s also seriously disappointing when we believe we have failed in some way, perhaps due to our own carelessness or in spite of our best efforts. Or we think we have failed when we really haven’t at all. And we sit in darkness over it, torturing ourselves. The regret and condemnation pounds us down like a giant sledgehammer to our soul. “If only I hadn’t...” “If I just would have...” “Why didn’t I...” It’s a weight we can’t carry and were never meant to.
Even when we have to bear the consequences for the wrong choices we’ve made, God is still on our side. “When I fall, I will arise; when I sit in darkness, the LORD will be a light to me.”7 How wonderful it is to know that even in a darkness of our own creation, God is still there and so is His light. I think that’s what makes us love Him most. His grace. We realize how little we deserve it and how far short of His glory we fall, yet He loves and accepts us anyway. Even in our greatest depth of failure, God brings good out of it as long as we reach humbly to Him.
We make a mistake in expecting too much from ourselves, other people, and life, when our expectations should be from God. God often allows hard things to happen in our lives in order to bless us in some way. If we are willing to allow for that possibility in everything that happens, it saves us from being devastated by people and situations that are ultimately going to be used for God’s glory. If we surrender our disappointment to God and say, “Be my light and lead me through this, Lord,” His work will be accomplished faster. …
Remember that no matter how dark times of disappointment become, God is still your light. Walk in the light He gives you.—Stormie Omartian
We all have them: plans that didn’t turn out the way we’d hoped, prayers that seem like they didn’t make it past the ceiling, dreams that break and are shattered as we wonder what went wrong. We go on, leaving behind broken dreams and seemingly unanswered prayers, but often they remain etched in our mind along with a question mark. Why didn’t things turn out the way I had planned, or hoped, or prayed?
What is a broken dream, anyway, but an idea of a path, or somewhere we thought our life should go but that led us elsewhere. We made a turn, somewhere, where life seemed to fall apart, or we lost our way and missed it somehow.
Being the flawed human beings that we are, we usually think we’ve failed. We begin to blame ourselves, or others, and carry a weight of failure or disappointment around, sometimes for years. If we blame others, that can be a heavy weight to carry, and until we give it up and forgive, it has the power to taint and mar the joy in our life so much that life itself can become a sad and weary experience.
The way we tend to judge things to be either “a success” or “a failure” is often such a keyhole-sized view. We peer inside and see only a tiny glimpse, which confirms, once again, a sad, sad acceptance of our failure. But if we could only see our lives from a bigger, more complete perspective, so many other elements and colors and highlights would come into view, and that tiny image would be transformed into the marvelous masterpiece that it truly can be, and probably is, in God’s eyes.
If we try to figure God out or try to fully understand His plan for our lives, forcing things to fit into our very limited perspective, we will only be disappointed in ourselves and Him when things don’t happen the way we dreamed and hoped. But if we have the faith to give Him the shattered pieces of our broken dreams, and trust Him to work with them as He knows is best, we will find that dreams can be mended and realize that all is not lost.
How can this happen? When does it happen? In His perfect way and in His perfect time. He, who is only love, has His own dream for our lives. He, who has only our best interests in mind, stands waiting with a paintbrush ready to paint into reality His dream of a life full of splashes of light and blends of color, depth, and texture. This is a dream that will not break. All we have to do is let go and let Him make something beautiful.—Janet Kluck
Published on Anchor February 2017. Read by Reuben Ruchevsky.
Music by Michael Dooley.