31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
– Romans 8:31 (ESV)
One day in 1740, the Anglican pastor (and later founder of Methodism) John Wesley stood before his congregants in a chapel in Bristol, England. He delivered his simply titled “Sermon 128,” better known today as “Free Grace.” Using Romans 8:32 as his text, Wesley wonderfully proclaimed: "(The) assurance of faith which these enjoy excludes all doubt and fear, It excludes all kinds of doubt and fear concerning their future perseverance; though it is not properly, as was said before, an assurance of what is future, but only of what now is."
That is a pretty audacious statement to make. We are expected, as believers who have the assurance of faith, to not be bothered by anything past, present, or future. No worry. No doubt. It is a claim one cannot make without understanding the verse before Wesley’s base passage for this sermon.
If God is for us, who can be against us? If one digs into the Greek words in this verse, we find what Paul is saying here is this: if God – Who Is high above us and far beyond our grasp – loves us so much as to stand for us, who can make a charge against us that will stick?
Look at Jesus. His trials before the Jewish and Roman leaders was a kangaroo court. He was unjustly tried, punished and executed – with great haste and no true sense of fairness. The enemies of Jesus passed a guilty judgment against Him.
But God had the final word in the matter. Three days after His death, Jesus Christ put pay to all of His promises, and all the Old Testament Scripture that was penned before – and pointed toward – Him.
My point is this: the judgment of others does not matter.
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 8:37-39 (ESV)
God has the final say, not your enemies. God loves you, you are His child, and His love for you is never ending. Do not let those who oppose you get in your way of doing what God has called you to do. Do not let fear or worry or doubt cloud your vision or block your path. Here is the great thing about fear: faith is its Achilles Heel. If you stand up in faith and stare fear in the face, it will back down. True authority is rooted in God, and His will and ways and Word.
Faith turns fear into soft butter. So, today, whatever you are facing, don’t be swayed by the enemy. Don’t let doubt creep in. Do not weary in well doing. Stand up straight and strong in faith on the mighty Word of the Lord. Hold fast to your conviction that God is GOD and He has a plan and there is nothing – absolutely nothing – that will thwart that plan.
And remember that you are part of that plan. Cling to God. Let Him fight the battle. You just need to stand strong and stay faithful. The LORD is your strength, and when we are weak, He is strong!