What then shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31 NIV).
I grew up knowing that my dad loved watching the sport of boxing on TV. Many a Saturday night was spent watching matches. Scenario was usually pretty much the same….
Two contenders face each other. The bell rings. They box, jab, dance around the ring, get beat up & bruised & bleed. Each round usually lasts about three minutes. If the contenders endure, the bell rings again & they each retreat back to their corner.
It is in their corner that they find a team that is FOR them. The corner men administer to their cuts & bruises that which will stop the bleeding. They give them water. They massage their beat up bodies. They speak words to them that will motivate them to go back out, to dig deep & find strength. And so each round goes until a winner is declared.
There are days that we can feel any (or all) of these:
- the whole world is against us
- no one is on our side
- nothing ever goes right
Those thoughts can overwhelm us at times. It is then we must remember, Who is in our corner.
Paul knew exactly how difficult life can be. In 2 Corinthians, he tells us what he had already faced….imprisonment frequently, flogged severely, exposed to death again & again, recipient of forty lashes minus one – five times, beaten with rods – three times, stoned, shipwrecked. As if that were not enough, he continues to tell us that he experienced…being stuck at sea overnight, having to be constantly on the move, danger from rivers, danger from bandits, danger at sea, danger from false brothers, sleeplessness, hunger & thirst, and has been cold & naked. Add to that mix, the pressures he felt from being concerned for all the churches. (You can find his account in 2 Corinthians 11:23-28).
Yes, Paul was well qualified to pen, “If God is for us, who can ever be against us?” Paul KNEW, without a doubt, Who was in his corner. And so must we. We must remind ourselves that our God is FOR us. That word, “for”, means that He is over us, above us, beyond us. It denotes a sense of protection & care for us. He is for us, working in our lives, that which is for our good.
In Psalm 118, the psalmist also knew that His Lord was for him…
“The Lord is for me, so I will have no fear.” (verse 6 NLT)
“Yes, the Lord is for me, He will help me.” (verse 7 NLT).
As we face the difficulty of our days, may we retreat to our corner, where our Lord is waiting to administer healing to our hurts, our bruises, our cuts. It is in that corner that we will hear His Words of encouragement pressing us forward in life. It is there we find the hope to get back out in the ring.