Paul wrote the Book of Romans in or about the year 58 A.D.. During the next 10 years, Rome’s Christians would suffer terribly from the cruelty of Rome’s ruler, Nero. These troubles became most severe after a fire destroyed much of Rome in 64 A.D..
Of course, Paul could not know what would soon happen. However, he knew how Christians were already suffering in many places. He himself had already suffered much (2 Corinthians 11:23-27). Also, he would know what Jesus had taught about such troubles (Matthew 5:11-12; Mark 13:9-13).
So, Paul was careful to prepare Rome’s Christians for the troubles that they might have to suffer. They must not think that, as Christians, their lives would always be comfortable and pleasant. They might have to suffer because of their relationship with Christ, and they should be ready.
In that situation, they would be unable to trust in their wealth, their friends, or anything else in this world. They must trust in Christ alone; they could be sure that his love would not disappoint them.
We sometimes consider love to be merely an emotion - but true love, even human love, is not something weak (Song of Solomon 8:6-7). It has the power to direct all our thoughts, actions and efforts in order to help someone else (1 Corinthians chapter 13). So, the love of Christ acts on our behalf with the most extraordinary power (2 Corinthians 12:9-10). When Christ is on our side, nothing can truly defeat us (8:31). His love has the power to overcome all our troubles in this world, and to take us to be with him in heaven (8:37-39).
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© 2018, Keith Simons.