Unlimited: For Your Sake
Feb 20, 2023 540
Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered” (Romans 8:35b–36).
Paul here is mentioning some of the troubles that he himself has faced (2 Cor 11:23–27), and which he knows afflict his hearers in the early church. Paul’s epistle to the church in Rome was written in AD 57. Nero’s fierce persecution of the church there occurred a few years later in AD 64, in which Nero would feed the believers to the lions and use them as human torches to light his garden parties. Paul wanted to prepare the Christian community for the great trouble that he knew was coming.
We may never face the kind of troubles that the church in Rome was shortly about to face; however, we will all face trouble in our lives. The same principles that Paul taught the church in Rome also apply to us. When troubles come our way we are to bear them patiently, knowing that if we suffer, it is for Christ’s sake.
Everything we suffer in this life is for the sake of Christ.
In this verse, although Paul specifically mentions persecution, he also includes all “trouble or hardship”. In the cosmic understanding of the apostle, nothing is without redemptive purpose in this world. We may not be able to trace God’s purposes, but everything we suffer in this life is for the sake of Christ. In this way, Paul writes that,
… we rejoice in our sufferings… (Rom. 5:3).
What is the greatest trouble you are facing in your life right now? Although God has not brought it upon you, are you able to bear it for the sake of Christ? Now, that calls for faith!