Paul describes the most cruel actions of the worst enemies that Godís people have. Those enemies behave like butchers: they kill people as if they were killing sheep. That description may sound as if Godís people are in a hopeless and desperate situation; however, they are not. An enemy may kill their bodies, but their spirits are safe with God. Nothing can separate them from the love of Christ. So their enemy cannot defeat them. As soon as he kills them, their spirits are safe with Christ in heaven (Philippians 1:21-23). So their enemy thinks that he has defeated them; but they overcome. In fact, they more than overcome: they prove that nothing on earth or in hell can destroy Christís love for them.
Paulís words come from Psalm 44:22. Psalm 44 is about the attitudes of Godís people after both success and defeat in war.
When Godís people know success in life, that is a reason for them to praise and to thank God. They do not consider the success to be the result of their own strength, skill or effort (Psalm 44:3; 2 Corinthians 12:9-10). Instead, they give the honour to God (Psalm 44:8).
When Godís people have great troubles, that is a reason for them to pray urgently to God. They recognise that they depend wholly upon him, and upon his love for them (Psalm 44:26). They must be careful not to turn away from him or to doubt his promises (Psalm 44:17-18). They remember the good things that he has done in the past (Psalm 44:1-3). That gives them the hope that he will again act on their behalf (Psalm 44:23-24).
Next part: More than conquerors (Romans 8:37)
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© 2017, Keith Simons.