“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 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.” (Reference: Romans 8:35-39 )
The historic Anabaptists believed that to recant their faith in the face of persecution would mean they rejected Christ and therefore be separated from Christ. (Now scratch your head while I quote from Menno Simon’s 1539 “Christian Baptism.”) “They would rather surrender everything which they possess and suffer envy, slander, scourging, persecution, agony, famine, thirst, nakedness, cold, heat, poverty, imprisonment, banishment, water, fire, and sword, or any other punishment than to forsake the Gospel of grace and the confession of God and be separated from the love which in Christ Jesus. Rom. 8:35.” [Emphasis mine] Now I agree with everything Simon’s said (and he said more than I have excerpted here) up to the point where I have placed the text in bold. How would you read that beloved? Is he saying that one could be separated from the love of Christ? Or am I reading it wrong?
Now it is very possible to turn your back on faith in God and go about your own way. And that decision has its own consequences for suffering. But I feel Menno Simon has waxed a little bit more poetical with his statement. We may THINK we have kept God out of our lives, and have rejected the love of God, both as a comfort in our lives and as an attitude/expression to others. But as Paul said just our rejecting God will not have God stopping to love us.
When darkest days of all of your days comes upon you, and you feel that there is not anything left that can comfort you or save you, remember that nothing – not anything in this world or in the next – can separate God’s love and us. It is woven into our DNA and every fiber of our being. God’s love is there, we just have to claim what is already ours. I hope and pray that you have beloved. Selah!