From Tragedy to Triumph!

Romans 8:31-39 NIV 

RO 8:31 What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?

[32] 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?

[33] Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies.

[34] Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died–more than that, who was raised to life–is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. [35] Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? 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.” 

RO 8:37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

[38] For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,

[39] neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. 

On January 6, 1941 President Roosevelt addressed congress for his State of the union address. He emphasized on the growing war in Europe, and most of what he said has been long forgotten. However at the close of his address Roosevelt said, “To a world founded upon four essential human freedoms.”

And he went on about these four freedoms of Speech, Worship, Want, and freedom from Fear. These were the ideals of America and England, what the Allies were fighting for, even though we may find them scarce today. 

Romans chapter 8 is a Christian declaration of freedom. Because of who Christ is and did, and His beneficiary, us.

This Passage has special meaning for me, because it is the passage the Lord put in my heart when I asked Mary to be my wife. {Story of our proposal} And when we came back from my proposal we went to the evening service at my church, and they sang a new song that day on this verve! I never felt more confident in who I was and who God brought into my life as my wife. 

This passage is special to our children for it was the theme of our recent VBS. 

That confidence must be rooted in who we are in Christ, and our election is something that can not be shattered, torn or muted, because Christ’s love is the binding instrument to our salvation, CHRIST is the one who holds us together for His purpose. 

This is one of the most magnificent passages in the Bible, it is telling us that that Christ’s love is inviolable and invokable. He died for us. He gave Himself for us, and even to us in the form of the Holy Sprit. So that if we are truly His child, then, nothing can take that fact away from us! If we are His then no power can on heaven or earth can prevent it or stop it.

Nothing can ever prevent or separate Christ redeeming love from bring us into relationship with Himself, so that we mature and blossom for His glory.  

          So who are we in Christ, and what does this Chapter tell us. 

  1. First  We must believe we are the person God says we are. 

Rom 8:1-13—This section starts with “no condemnation”, and the chapter ends with “more than conquers” This prepares us for the final masterpiece of verses 38 & 39. That we start out with an escape of our punishment and the wrath of judgment. Sin has been judged and condemned, thus our salvation has become our liberation. So that we are to bare His blessings, and those blessings transforms us. 

That God is the life barer, He saves us, that not only do we have our sins forgiven, but, we have been given new life, an impartation of Christ’s work given to us. As evangelicals say being born again, our new life in Christ.

So our natural sinful self becomes impregnated by the power and work of the Holy Sprit. We may not see a physical manifestation, or feel its out come, but it is there.

This is were the work of faith comes in, that our faith is not the saving construct, but the response we give to Christ’s work. Faith is our acceptance of His redemption. This is beyond our conscious will, or the knowledge of science, what is beyond us is the fact of His work. His loving care that pursues us and holds us.

His pursuit and love is never changing, never wavering, never wearied, and never out of His control. His pursuit is to transform us in the renewing of our hearts and mind and will to be turned over to His will and purpose: That we are transformed into His Image.

New life is not a new law, it is a yielding of our will and desires to His, that we are to trust and obey, because there is no other way! We are to keep ourselves centered on Him who is the life giver, and then we can be the blessing barer.

Christ is our rule, Love and Lord, for He lives, and lives in us. The Sprit lives in us, in our lives for the hopeful result of our surrendered will and the harvest of a Sprit directed life, which the fruits of the Sprit flows, and the love of His redemption, so we love His people and His call.

  1. Second  We must believe we are where God says we are.

In the next section in Rom.8:14-17—tells us that we as believers are made a son and heir-We entered The body of Christ by the new life He gave us, we are free from the law and a priceless debt has been paid that we could never have possibly paid. Our gratitude must show the debt that was paid in our behave. This is our liberty, so what is our response?   -Gal. 4:4. Eph.1:3;  Eph.1:4.

If we hold to our self will and refuse to surrender, then we are in the way of our own growth. God can not move in us when we refuse to get out of the way. It is not that He can not, but He will not. We must abandon ourselves to Him, not to our reason, but to His purpose, not to common sense, but to His redemption. Out of His redeeming work comes our gratitude, our obligation to the Sprit.

Now you know no work can ever earn our place in His presence, no good work could ever pay the price that was called and expected. But our works are a mere feeble response to His majesty and grace. We must surrender to His glory, and not to our darkness and uncertainty, throw your self away to His plan and to the leading of the Sprit.

  1. Third  We must believe in the Hope that God says we are.

Rom 8:18-25-tells us that we must believe we can do what God says we can. Hope gives us the strength to go through live with assurance and confidence in what Christ did for us. In so doing we are not to feel stressed out and frustrated with lives circumstances. The suffering we encounter and see should not get our eyes off our Lord, because the Hope we have, and the place we have in His presence to come. 

John 14:12-14; Heb. 13:8

  1. Fourth  We must believe our guidance comes from our Lord.

          Rom 8:26-30—tells us that God’s driving purpose is make us the people that we can be, so that we succeed and prosper. Our guidance is drawn from the work of the Holy Sprit, who intercedes for us as we pray, who reveals the deeper things of God, who brings the love of Christ directly to us, who desires to work through us, who gives us the strength and perseverance, the wisdom and comport, the joy through suffering so we can be our best for His glory.

So the goal of the mature Christian is to learn and persevere for God’s glory through all circumstances, no matter what the deal is or the pain, we are to overcome, as Christ overcame for us.

          We will receive people in our lives that we may not like, circumstances that make us uneasy and on edge, but we can learn and preserver to His glory.  We are to allow the Holy Sprit to intercede for us by removing our distractions and living as to the fact that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Sprit. And as with any temple we need to be cleansed to be effective, to be undefiled and in prayer.

          And the assurance that all of our circumstances is ordained by our Lord, there is no chance in life. God may bring us into circumstances we may not understand, but they will work to His glory and purpose.

Because God knows all things and all possible outcomes of trillions upon trillions of contingencies. Because God knows all things, so no chance will come in to our life that is not foreordained in His plan. We are in the hands of our Lord.

          Our faith must be in Him, and being in Christ is diametrically opposed to the natural law of our desires and sense. Faith must be a possession that we hold too, and faith is saying yes Lord you said it and I obey it! Faith is the active endeavor of putting Christ first over all else. Faith will give us the push to go against the things that hinder us from our Lord. We must not allow ourselves to be enticed and fall to our evil nature, when we are more than conquers in Christ.

          Our faith will give us the assurance that God is sovereign and in control of all things. So let us not take our circumstance for granted, but be surrendered to learn, grow, trust and preserver. Because if we do not believe it, God is still in control, but we become disjointed and disillusioned and the sufferings we encounter will inflict unreparable strain and pain. And our great comforter is there we are just ignoring Him!

  1. Fifth  We must accept the love that binds us and refuses to let go.

Rom 8:31-39 Is The Masterpiece of the entire book Romans that acts as a funnel for chapters 1 to 8, and then beckons a response as laid out in chapters 9 to 16.

The love of God is real and binding and is for us now and continual, that noting can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. And then we can ask in confidence is there any thing, any reason in our lives that can and will separate us? Is there any reason why we can not be more than conquers? I say not, because God’s Word says so! 

And if you are still unsure check out these passages in your outline:

  1. We were Created in righteousness so that God sees us in Christ, and not our sin nature. II Cor. 5:21; I Cor. 1:30; Eph 4:24

              B. Christ who has made us pays the way of our salvation-Col.1:12            

    C. Christ who is the author and the finisher–Heb. 12:2

     D. We are new, not made over. Totally new creations made for His purpose   II Cor. 5:17

E.  We are acceptable, because of His sacrifice and not of us and our ability. Eph. 1:6

              Just sit down and watch the news and watch the news commentators and the man off the street interviews, and  you will quickly see America Is Familiar With Tragedy. We see the evil things that seem to separate us from the love of God. The sufferings of why did this happen to my son, to my daughter, to my wife, to my husband, to me.

It is not how we answer the question of why there is suffering and evil, or why do I suffer, it is about how do I live. How can I turn this around to a blessing so I can be made into the person God wants and desires of me.

We see in recent news events:

  • Waco, Texas
  • Murrah Federal Building
  • Littleton, Colorado
  • Yosemite
  • Murder suicide in Portavill
  • Our political leaders

The real tragedy is we are no longer shocked as a nation to the numerous shootings, that seem to come as daily news assurances to a desensitized and apathetic culture, whose youth are killing off each other in epidemic portions.

But even before these recent tragedies

  • Civil War
  • The Sinking of the Titanic
  • The Hindenburg
  • Apollo 1
  • Challenger
  • Our political leaders

          How do we live with these mass tragedies, and then there are the so many individual tragedies that take place in the lives of people everyday, and these tragedies leave us in question, and filled very deep scares as well.

Satan is in the business of deceiving and fooling Christians, Destroying and distorting us from the truth and promises of Christ, and like physical destruction, this is spiritual Destruction which has a lasting effect on our lives as well.

          How many times have we looked back on tragedy in our lives and asked why, or have come across people who are consumed by a single event in their past, that this one event has defined there entire lifetime and purpose of who they are.

And if it is us, who we are, what is our defining moment. Is our response: I’m a victim, a victim of a crime, a victim of a scam, a victim of a bad business deal, a victim of abuse: A victim of some social injustice, a victim of a bad work situation, or its usually just being a victim of my own self serving nature. Or is my identity of who I am rooted in Christ.

There is perhaps no one in this house of God who is immune from some sort of suffering, some sort of mistreatment, some sort of failure that we can look to a defying moment of who we are, a failure that they have lived.

          So the how do we live? Do we allow these defying moments of evil and attack on us to consume us, so the attack keeps coming even if the war is over, or do be become the more than conquerors, do we become the people of God were there is no condemnation, that we are more than conquerors, because what Christ has done for us. Or do we remain defeated from our victimization.

Nothing will separate means nothing will separate, that means our past sufferings have been covered and muted, and given over the glory of Christ.

God may not chose to keep us away from adversity and suffering, He promises to hold us, because He is with us. He only promises Himself, and that is all we need to persevere. As psalm 91 states, “I will be with you in trouble”.

          Yes we will suffer consequences in our lives from our actions and the actions of others around us, but do we let them consume us, or do we grow from them and be transformed by them.

          God will take you through moments of tragedy, not as a personal attack, but as a learning curve so we can be used more effectively for Him, in a world corrupted and filled with suffering and sin. I cannot tell you how many times God has used me because of what I went through to help others. Tragedy can become a triumph! Christ showed us the way and gave us the new life from what seemed to be tragedy, but Christ turned into triumph.

There are people that have never risen above the harsh victimization they went through in their life, have turned their victimization into an attack on others. Sometimes Satan will use our victim mentality for his glory, because we refuse to give it to Christ’s glory. Thus Satan, has dealt them and thus they have lived a life of tragedy and defeat, that, not only has affected them, but their children and others around them.

   Some of these People you may have heard of:

Adolph Hitler,   Ted Bundy,  Jeffery Dahmer, That Yosemite handy man, and Furrow who recently fired 70 shots from an uzi automatic weapon and  wounded and killed those children at a Jewish community center.

But, then, on the other hand, we can find people that have risen above the hand they have been dealt, and have gone on to redefine history.

People like:

Anne Sullivan – Born in Feeding Hills, MA, in 1866(1936), -. She was nearly blind from childhood  fever, and educated at the Perkins Institution in Waltham, MA. Were she became a teacher and taught Helen Keller, who was both deaf and blind, and managed to brake through her isolation by spelling out words on her hand. For the rest of her life she remained Keller’s companion, and enabled Helen Keller to be on her own and help create the most influential person for people with disabilities, the world has known, as an author, lecturer, and advocate.

A lesson for us on how tragedy can be turned into triumph, a lesson on how the Holy Sprit works in us and His role as our advocate.

The young son of middle class Jewish couple Hermann and Pauline. Was a child that was considered stupid and worthless and hardly spoke at all until age 3. A child whose teachers said to his parents to put him in a mental institution because he was too stupid and unteachable. His name was Albert Einstein. And we know how he turned his tragedy into triumph. 

I have been through a fair share of tragedy myself. I lost my father at a young age, suffered through severe learning disabilities and dyslexia, were my teaches told my parents that I could never go to High School, and should be institutionalized. They thought this because I had a bad speech impediment, and could not read.

I learned to over come and went to high school, College, Graduate School, and seminary. Or I could have caved into my Victimization as so many people do, but God would not let me, I guess He had better plans that I did.

I want to get across with you this morning, what separates these two kinds of people. Why some wallow in defeat, while others turn tragedy into triumph!

Genesis 50:15-19; The story of Joseph, is one of my favorites in the Old Testament. Here is a story of redemption and overcoming adversity to thrive.

Joseph chose to turn his tragedy into triumph, he chose not to extract revenge, but to show mercy, he chose to serve his lord, and not his sin nature. What do we choose to do?

So what is the difference between these people groups and the deference between Jeffery Dahmer and Anne Sullivan, are some people just born with an overcoming spirit and others are not? No, it is a choice! And it is providence.

So were does providence fit in? Augustine said of God’s providence, that we must pray as it all depends on God, and work as if it all depended on us. Spurgeon said “I never try to reconcile friends” and Calvin quotes Augustine.

 JOS 24:14

First of all, we have to realize that continuing in our current cycle of pain and perceived tragedy is a matter of choice. We do not have to stay down there, we can choose to break out of this cycle and rise above our circumstances.

Secondly, there are some things that we have to choose not to do.

  1. We need too Stop worrying, MT 6:25-27

   2. We need too Stop whining about where we are and how we got there.

   3. We need too Stop wallowing in self pity.

   4. We need too Stop blaming God

   5. We need too Stop blaming others

   6. We need too Stop blaming ourselves

   Thirdly there are some things you need to learn to do.

   1. Understand the nature of satanic attacks (Don’t take satanic attack too personal).

   2. Keep things in perspective. Don’t take satanic attacks too serious we do not have BIG DEVIL and a little God. We have a BIG God and a little kicked out of paradise and sentenced to Hell, already defeated devil.

We must not swing the other way either, We can not be so overconfident that we become cocky.

          3. In every thing, learn to praise God. 1Thes 5:18

4    Realize that God has a purpose for you, and it is much more than you realize.  Jer 1:5, 

  1. Realize that God has given you the power to prevail. 1 Cor 15:57

Our Lord has given us the ability to choose between victory and defeat. And if we continue to live a life of self-defeat, there is no one to  blame but ourselves. We have to choose to be a winner, to fail to choose to be a winner is to choose to be a loser. And a chose to reject the love and plan He has for us.

A Question, Can anything separate us, tear us apart from the love of Christ?

  1. Tribulations and sufferings – we will be stressed, tested; to preserver for His service.
  2. Distress – It may be in great physical, spiritual, emotional, or financial hardship.
  3. Persecution – we may be called upon to take a decisive stand.
  4. Famine – we may suffer loss until it seems we are starving for food
  5.  5.  Peril – great dangers may come our way in this life
  1. Sword – we may even DIE, but as Paul said this is our gain.

An Answer – Things can separate us from our perspective in loving Christ, but  there is NOTHING that can separate us from His love for US! He loves us unconditionally! This is Grace!

Through all these things listed in verse 35; the Bible says we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter – God’s children through the ages have been hated and despised by the world, by the enemies of God – but Christ’s love is greater!

Paul in Acts 20:23-24 said it best!  The worst of what he went through was nothing to him because the love of His Lord was matchless!        

Fox’s Book of Martyr’s Tells us the story’s; of Christians past who have beaten, maimed, stricken, afflicted, killed, fed to lions, burned at the stake –Yet there has always been an increase of the devotion and faithfulness of the Christians, as we see in parts of the world today.

There should be an increase of our love, our devotion, our faithfulness for our wonderful Lord Jesus Christ because of His matchless love for us! 

So what is THE MIGHTINESS OF HIS LOVE

A. The love our Savior has for me is the love that enables us to be more than a conqueror – only THROUGH Hm.

  1. His love conquered death on our behalf, Hell has no hold or reservation for us in Christ Jesus, because of Calvary.
  2. His love can and will conquer our suffering with joy.
  3. His love can and will conquer our pain.
  4. His love conquered our sin by His selfless life and will.

Love, Perhaps we use that word too loosely, we take the meaning of that word for granted, or we just never truly learn what love is. The Bible is the greatest book ever written about the subject of love, God’s love letter to us. The Bible contains the greatest love story ever told, that of a righteous God and His love for a fallen Humanity.

The whole message of Jesus Christ is centered around His love for us. All that we are, have been or ever will be as Christians will be because of the love that Jesus Christ has for each one of us. Let us not ever fail to understand this extremely important principle of the love of Christ.

Because of the MIGHTINESS of Christ’s love, We must  know that we can withstand whatever comes our way but only with the help of our Savior, and yes we can, we can withstand, we can preserver!

Do you see how there could be no greater love than that of Jesus Christ?

If we turn away from our self seeking nature and repent of our sin’s, God can, and will, turn your worst tragedy into your greatest triumph!!! STARTING TODAY!!!

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About Biblical Guy

Dr. Richard Joseph Krejcir lives in Southern California and is married to the beautiful MaryRuth and a precious son Ryan, a miracle from God. He is a child of God who is committed to biblical understanding, prayer, spiritual growth, and integrity. He is the Founder and Director of Into Thy Word Ministries, a missions and discipling ministry, with a call upon his heart to bring discipleship materials to pastors and everyone who needs them here and overseas. He is also a researcher at the Schaeffer Institute and spent over fifteen years on an in-depth, careful and through study on End Times. He is the author of numerous articles, curriculum's and books such as "Into Thy Word," and is also an ordained pastor, teacher, and speaker. He is a graduate of Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena California (Master of Divinity) and holds a Ph.D. (Practical Theology) from London. He has amounted over 25 years of pastoral ministry experience including serving as a church growth consultant.
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