If God is For Us

If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31).

This short statement is absolutely loaded with truth, warning and exhortation. That’s not a misprint – it contains warning as well as encouragement at the same time.

The warning lies in the little conditional word “if”. This two-letter word appears over 1400 times in the Bible and is probably the most ignored of all the words contained in God’s Holy Word. It is ignored because it is so small, yet its impact on every sentence in which it appears is enormous. It is so significant that many false teaching have been concocted just by ignoring these two letters because its presence can change the entire meaning of the sentence.

“If” in this verse says that God may not be for you, He may, in fact be against you! Yes, God is against many people. He is against Israel in her disobedience (Ezekiel 5:8), He is against Tyre because they attacked Israel (Ezekiel 26:3), He is against the shepherds who set their own desires before the needs of the people (Ezekiel 34), He is against those who suppress the truth in their own hearts and minds (Romans 1:18) and above all, He is against the proud (James 4:6).

Thus people like this are in a terrible position because God is against them. For them we need to reverse the text: “If God is against us, who can help us?”. It is indeed a fearful thing to fall into the hands of a living God (Hebrews 10:31), because if God is your enemy, no-one can help you. Yet so many people think that God is their friend even though they are arrogant, disobedient or shepherds that abuse the flock. So this is no comfort to such, but rather it is a fearful admonition.

The second word, is “God”. If “God” is for us... It is awesome to think that God can actually be on our side. It is one thing to be on the Lord’s side but entirely different matter when the King of the Universe, the Almighty, the Most Powerful God, is on our side. Indeed no-one and nothing can stand against Him and if He is for us, nothing can stand against us! Isn’t that exciting! Someone once told me I should not speak in absolutes, but these are absolutes. Either God is for us or He is against us. Either we are on the same side or on opposing sides. There is not a third side in this battle, there is only good and bad, God and the Devil, right and wrong and righteousness against sin. It is very important that we make sure that we are on the right side because only one side will win in the end and that is God’s side.

But the word “for” (us) is also significant. It seems to say more than just God being on our side, but that God is wanting our good. He does not just want us not to be defeated, He wants far more for us. That is the theme of the Book of Romans. God wants to justify, sanctify and glorify us. He is in every way for us. Sometimes we feel that God is neutral and really just watching us struggle. No, He is for us, He wants the very best for us.

The question then is: “If God is for us, who can be against us?” Those who are arrayed against us – satan, demons, unbelievers and, even Christians cannot stand against us if God is for us. The question is rhetorical and the answer is obvious – none can stand against us. The context of the verse lists many things including death, life, angels, demons, things that exists presently or may come in the future – nothing can prevail against us (Romans 8:38).

Paul says that no created thing can separate us from the love of God (Romans 8:39). We can then safely conclude that no created thing can prevail against us if God is for us. So what is created? – everything except for God! So God says that there is absolutely nothing in the entire universe that can stand against us, as long as He is for us. Many times we fear what people can do to us, or what the future may hold, but the glorious truth is that there is absolutely nothing present or future that can prevail against us. Wow, that means that we are invincible! And that is the glorious truth, as long as we are with God and He is with us.

Many times we feel very exposed and alone because it seems that no one is standing with us and everyone is against us. Paul had this feeling when he wrote that no one stood with him when he went to court and that all had forsaken him. Can you image how that must have felt, standing alone against the whole Roman empire and having been forsaken by everyone? But, he continues, “the Lord stood with me” (2Timothy 4:16-17). What a difference! From poor Paul standing there all alone and forsaken to Paul standing there with the Almighty God at his side. Suddenly the power and pomp of the Roman courtroom faded into nothing.

I don’t think Paul actually “saw” the Lord in that courtroom, but he was absolutely persuaded that the Lord was indeed “standing with him”. Sometimes we want to see some physical manifestation of the Lord’s presence, when all we need to do is open our spiritual eyes and realize that He is indeed with us.

Here was Elisha’s servant’s experience: “And when the servant of the man of God arose early and went out, there was an army, surrounding the city with horses and chariots. And his servant said to him, "Alas, my master! What shall we do?" So he answered, "Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them." And Elisha prayed, and said, "Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see." Then the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.” (2Kings 6:15-17).

Oh, Lord open our eyes to see that we are surrounded, not by horses and chariots but by your Almighty Presence and that under your powerful wings we are safe and nothing can harm us. Help us to understand the truth that if You are for us, nothing can be against us – amen.

The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” (Psalm 118:6).