37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. (NIV)
Our passage today does not say that we are not more than conquerors through Him who conquered death. It doesn’t say we are more than conquerors because Christ has overcome the world. These are true, but our ability to overcome all things is related to the love of God.
To know God loves me can be cliché. This is especially true if we have heard it all our lives. The love of God can take on a fairy-tale effect through the Sunday School songs of our childhood. Jesus loves me, this I know for the Bible tells me so. But there is something very different between knowing we are loved and experiencing it.
God has given us the Spirit specifically to experience His love in worship, prayer, and meditation.
A lack of experiencing God’s love leaves room for fear. Perfect love drives out fear, but when perfect love is scarce, fear dominates and pushes us further from God. As fear forces more distance between us and God, the less we interact with God to experience His love. When we don’t experience the love of God within, it is more challenging to trust He will protect and sustain us through a hard time.
This lack of trust empowers fear to drag us down the path of escapism where we will do anything to alleviate the pain even if it is only temporary. We walk out, lash out, and clam up. We go partying to get high and stay drunk. And the devil gains ground and the situation we are experiencing wins. We are defeated.
But the more we experience the love of God, the more confident we are that He will lead us to victory. In our nearness to God, we hear His voice strong and clear. We lean into His presence to face the pain. And we know His love for us will not allow Him to leave us at that moment to the point of breaking us down. He will deliver us out of that nightmare.
To the degree we experience His love, we will have the faith to follow Him. Because we have experienced His love, we know He will lead us through. We know He will bring us out. We know He will lift us up. We will overcome.
Prayer: Lord, help me to pursue Your presence more in prayer, Scripture, and meditation so that I would feel the depth of Your love and not be afraid. Amen.