What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is 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 8:31–32 (NIV84)
“This is what a loving God gave to you this Christmas? Here are the gifts to which God has attached your name? One more year of declining health? A broken furnace the week after you were laid off? Another horrific news story of Christian persecution? Your own child’s funeral?” The devil tugs at our souls with his crafty lies: “Just look at your life! That’s the best God could give you?” Our sinful flesh desires to join in the ancient chorus of mistrust—“God’s holding out on you!”—a chorus composed by the slippery tongue of the serpent in Eden and believed by the hearts of our first parents. How often do you latch onto this lie during tragedy?
The apostle Paul was no stranger to tragedy, and neither were the Christians in Rome. Trouble, hardship, persecution, nakedness, famine, and sword were a few things to which their names were attached. What were they to do? What are we to do? How can we reconcile the troubles in our lives if God loves us and wants what is best for us? Paul leads our questioning hearts to silent repentance with a few questions of his own. The first: “If God is for us, who can be against us?” Wrapped in this question is a challenge: “Find one instance in history where his plan and purpose failed. Find one foe or force greater than the great I AM. Who can be against us?” Paul
doesn’t wait for our response, because the answer is painfully obvious. And just in case our stubborn hearts persist—“How can we be sure this omnipotent God is on our side?”—he poses the second question: “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not, along with him, graciously give us all things?”
This is what a loving God gave to you this Christmas: his own Son! Here are the gifts to which God has attached your name: complete payment for all sin, freedom from shame and guilt, and certain hope of eternal life. The Father bankrupted heaven of his greatest treasure for you; will he hold out on you now? The Son already gave his last breath of life on the cross for you; will he lose track of your life? The Spirit’s deposit was sealed at your baptism; will he not return to
God spared nothing that first Christmas as he gave you his everything. May this greatest gift, which we already possess, teach us to trust our generous God through every trial. May our confidence increase in him, who is able to use even trouble and tragedy for our good. How will he not grant us this and more?
Prayer：Gracious Father, lift our eyes of faith during every trial to the manger, where we see the greatest gift already given, your own Son. Accept our lives as an expression of gratitude for this
precious gift. Continue to perfect our faith through earthly trials until we reach the last gift, our home in heaven. Amen.