As with most pastors, about half the Bible is my “favorite” Scripture passage.
The Gospel of John and Romans are in a close race to be my favorite book, with Romans 8 being among my favorite chapters. When it comes down to it, though, Romans 8:18-39 will most assuredly be read at my funeral.
My love for this passage of Scripture began when I was on vicarage and was doing a Bible Study series with my supervisor over the “most misunderstood verses of the Bible.” Romans 8:28 was one of them, and so I began studying the context of this verse. As of today, I have not found a Scripture that instills in me so much peace, confidence, conviction, and security as that of Romans 8:18-39. In this passage we see the Triune God working together for our salvation as He encounters us in our sin and our suffering. We see the divine narrative imposing itself upon our human narrative, and how everything we experience and encounter in this life is overshadowed by the redemption and glory we have in Christ.
God truly does work all things together for our good, for there is only one inevitable outcome of it all.
As I suffer, I suffer for Christ and I suffer for the Gospel, because God’s Word is final and when the Last Day comes I will stand with Him in glory. There is nothing that can change this course; there is nothing that can take that away from me. Even death itself, the only other inevitability in this life (unless Christ comes back first), Christ has conquered and transformed for my good. As a believer, death is but a rest as I no longer am assaulted by my sin or by Satan but am sheltered in His presence.
No, not even death can take us away from the love of God in Christ Jesus! Amen.