Day 310: November 6, 2013

Today's Reading(s)

Romans 8:28-39
28 We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose. 29 For those He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those He predestined, He also called; and those He called, He also justified; and those He justified, He also glorified. 

31 What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us? 

32 He did not even spare His own Son but offered Him up for us all; how will He not also with Him grant us everything? 

33 Who can bring an accusation against God’s elect? God is the One who justifies. 

34 Who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is the One who died, but even more, has been raised; He also is at the right hand of God and intercedes for us. 

35 Who can separate us from the love of Christ? Can affliction or anguish or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written: Because of You we are being put to death all day long; we are counted as sheep to be slaughtered. 37 No, in all these things we are more than victorious through Him who loved us. 

38 For I am persuaded that not even death or life, angels or rulers, things present or things to come, hostile powers, 39 height or depth, or any other created thing will have the power to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord! 

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.



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Today's Reflection

Key Verse(s)

For I am persuaded that not even death or life, angels or rulers, things present or things to come, hostile powers, height or depth, or any other created thing will have the power to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord!
Romans 8:38-39

No Longer Lost
by Lauren O'Neill, Senior Adult and Congregational Care Assistant, Brentwood Campus

When was the last time you felt lost? I’m not talking about physically getting lost or geographically misplacing yourself. I’m sure we all could share stories of wrong turns and dead ends, or about that time the GPS nearly led us into a pond.

I’m talking about feeling lost on the inside. Like when you have to make that tough decision at work, and none of the options you have seem like the right one. Or when you’re praying for some relief in your present circumstances, but the weight of the world seems to still be pressing hard on your shoulders.

Then there are those times when you can’t figure out what to do next. When you feel like you’ve gotten something wrong, or missed some sign and you can’t seem to feel God beside you as tangibly as you’d like.

It’s that lost feeling I’m referring to.

I’ll be the first to admit I’ve felt this way before. Many of my friends have too, and lots of good Christian people I know.

All throughout the Bible there are stories of people who wrestled with these feelings at some point in their lives—like David (Psalm 25 and 143) and Elijah (1 Kings 19). Even today’s Scripture passage in Romans leads me to believe that Paul recognized or felt these feelings, before he grew in his faith and was able to supersede them with the truth of God’s promises.

It’s a very human thing—to feel lost. But here’s the truth for a child of God.

Lost is merely a feeling. It’s no longer a reality that you or I live in, or a situation that can overcome us. Once I’ve surrendered my life to Christ and made Him my Lord, He speaks a different reality over me as His child. He sets me on a course that has been ordained, helps me accomplish plans that have been set before me, and establishes me in eternity as a life that is spoken for—never to be lost again (see Jeremiah 29:11; 1 Peter 2:21).

Paul goes into great detail about this in today’s text, when he explains how claimed we are. Verses 29 and 30 tell us that God calls us, justifies us, and glorifies us because we bear the image of His Son. Paul goes on to assure us that once we’ve been called and claimed, God promises to work all things together for our good, from that moment forward.

How many times a day do I forget that?

It’s humbling to realize the frailty of my belief in that promise. How radically different my life might look if I were to put that confidence into action more often than I do—the confidence that if God is for me, no one can be against me (8:31), and that God will not withhold any good thing from me when I am living in obedience to Him (8:32).

That means God won’t withhold from me the things I need—and He knows what I need much better than I do. If I need to make a decision on a deadline, God will provide the wisdom I need to make it. If I need to find my way through the darkness, He will provide a light to my path (Psalm 119:105).

In Christ, there is no more lost. Not only that, but as Paul so poignantly expresses in verses 38 and 39, nothing can ever make us lost again. Nothing can ever separate us from His presence and His love.

Death can’t separate me from it, nor can the circumstances of my life. The scary future that I fear at times may await me… it can’t separate me from Him either. Supreme governing structures and systems cannot keep me from God’s love, and cannot keep it away from me (8:38). Those who seem to be in power over me still are not above His power.

And it applies to you as well, if you’re a follower of Christ.

The depths you feel you may be drowning in are an ocean already underneath His feet. The One who walked on water keeps the planets in orbit and names the stars. This is the One who keeps us safe and helps us find our way through the dark.

No matter how our flesh may sometimes feel, the reality of God’s truth and love overwhelms and overrules that feeling of being lost. It no longer has a place in our life. We’re God’s children. He designed us, pursued us, died for us, and claimed us.

We are no longer lost—and we’ll never be again.

Reflection Questions

  1. Paul explains how we’re justified and how we’re claimed as children of God. When did God justify you? How were you claimed?
  2. Think about a time or a season of your life when you felt lost. What emotions did you experience? How did those feelings impact your walk with God, and your relationships with others?
  3. Verses 31 and 32 tell us that no one can be against us if God is for us. This doesn’t mean that others won’t try to work against us, but merely that they won’t succeed in thwarting God’s plan for our life. In your present circumstances, who or what seems to be against you? Do you believe God is stronger?

About the Author

Lauren O'Neill
» Blog/Website

Lauren O’Neill serves at Brentwood Baptist as an Administrative Assistant to the Senior Adult and Congregational Care ministers. Working behind the scenes is often her preferred place of ministry, but she’s also had plenty of time in the spotlight as a Christian singer/songwriter and worship leader—all before getting married and moving to Franklin with her husband Tim in 2011. In her free moments, she’s inevitably found reading a book, writing, or playing piano—with a glass of iced coffee close beside her. Her passions include teaching and studying the written Word, music, and traveling. She dreams of authoring a children’s book some day. You can read some of her writings at laurennoneill.blogspot.com.