I cannot be separated from the love of God.
Citizenship of a state is usually based on birth, or on naturalisation (which can be costly). And occasionally a person can be deprived of citizenship – as happened recently with the young woman who ran away to join ISIS in Syria. Citizenship of heaven however is based on love resulting in new birth through faith in Jesus – not my love for God but his undeserved love for me. Then, as Paul puts it here in Romans 8, ‘nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.’
There may well come moments in life when this love of God seems a distant unreality. Life is tough; we are all liable to experience hardship and sickness. Friendships can wither and die. Temptation can get the better of us leaving a legacy of guilty feelings and bitterness. Family can turn their backs on us over some imagined or real slight. Investments can be destroyed by a stock market collapse. Even the Church can disappoint us through coldness and unhappy division. Come floods or heatwaves, storms that can wreck a roof, or little white bugs that gnaw at the roots of our favourite plants. None of this can drown the shout that God continues to love us. You may not feel it, and logic won’t persuade you of it.
God’s logic of a Cross and an empty tomb is the ultimate bastion against total despair and the apparent unfairness and meaninglessness of raw life.
God has declared once and for all ‘I love you’ and he is not going back on that.