January 15, 2023, God says Yes
Is God for us, who can be against us? 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? (Romans 8, 31b + 32,
The Bible, New intl. Version)
there is a lot which is pointing against us! War, physical and mental suffering, illness, death. The reality of life for many people in the world is a struggle for survival. The life experience of the apostle Paul (Romans, verses 8, 35 ff) reads like a current report in our time. He writes about suffering, fear, and persecution. He reports of hunger or cold, of dangers for life and limb. He even speaks of executions. For many Christians in this world these are bitter experiences they must go through and suffer.
But all this, writes the apostle, cannot separate us from Jesus Christ and his love for us. This is true faith and it is a challenge.
Please take a sheet of paper and draw a line in the middle from top to bottom. In the left column write everything down that is against you. Make a list of everything you can imagine, working against you. It could be an illness. Or the death of a loved one. Or you may experience your boss or colleagues working against you. Maybe you suffer from nasty neighbors. Or you may even fight with your family over inheritance disputes? And maybe you are even fighting against your old age. You could probably write down a long list of topics of what we would call a “Negative List”.
Now we switch to the right column, your positive list. In this column, please write down everything that is for you! The apostle Paul says: You need to write down only one word in this column, and that is enough: GOD. God is for us! God is for you. God, the Heavenly Father, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit are for us, they are for you! Not against you.
Is it enough? Is it enough for you that in the right column, the plus column, there is only one word: "God"? Nothing else? And what does it mean? Paul writes: the love of God revealed in Jesus Christ, outweighs everything negative. God provides us through the Lord Jesus Christ heavily with good, with beautiful, with valuable things. No matter how long the negative list on the other side may be.
Is your trust in God's love deep enough that the bitter experiences of every day’s life do not weigh nearly as heavily as God's promises? I am convinced: it is worth filling up the plus column with the many promises which God gives us. It is worthwhile to look in the Bible, the living Word of God, for the many promises and write them down. I am convinced you will need an extra sheet of paper. The list of God's love is longer than anything negative you could write down. You will need plenty of time and space for this list of "God-is-for-me!"
God is for you. He is not your opponent. Even if life’s circumstances come together with great violence and heavy power like the giant Goliath in the Old Testament – The Lord Jesus Christ is on our side. He has prepared for you his peace, his comfort, his joy, his mercy and all his love available at any moment. God´s YES, which is visible in Jesus Christ, outweighs all the NOs of this world which oppose you more than many thousand times.
I wish you that you may experience this YES of God anew. May God's love fill your heart. May the Holy Spirit comfort your heart. May the Lord Jesus Christ be your protector!
Thank you for listening to me. God bless you in spirit, soul, and body. A heartfelt invitation to all of you until the next short sermon on February 1. Until then: Be committed to God's love.
This text was translated using DeepL (free version), edited by R. Jordan.