If I had to choose one verse of the Bible to call my favorite, I would, without hesitation, choose Romans 8:31: “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” This one verse has possibly had a richer legacy within the church than any other verse of the Bible. Many men who were used mightily of God—men such as Philip Melanchthon, John Bunyan, John Wesley, and William Wilberforce, just to name a few—were all significantly impacted by this one simple truth: If God is for us, who can be against us?
The beauty of the gospel message is that God really is for us in Christ Jesus. Despite what it may feel like at times in our lives, God is not against us. And, what is more, He will never be against us, either in this lifetime or in the next. Jesus has assured us of this. He was handed over (v. 32–34). He was rejected. He was treated as though He had committed all of our sins—even though He had committed none of them in actuality—so that we could be treated as though we had lived His perfect life. On the cross, God was against Jesus so that He could be for all those who are united to Christ by faith. It is hard to imagine a more glorious thought than that the God of the universe is for us in and through Jesus Christ His Son.
Not only is it hard to imagine a more glorious thought than this, but it is also hard to imagine a more practical thought. The fact that the God of the universe is forever for us has tremendous implications for the way we view the inevitable struggles, disappointments, and difficulties of life. If the God of the universe is forever for us, then nothing can really be against us. No individual. No government. No invading army. No movement. No situation. No circumstance. Nothing. Nothing can ultimately be against us because God is forever for us. We can face the dark storms of life with great peace and confidence, knowing that even at those times, our God is not against us but very much for us in Christ.
After Martin Luther died, the Reformation in Germany seemed tenuous, perhaps especially to Philip Melanchthon, who was left to take up Luther’s mantle. Melanchthon repeatedly turned to Romans 8:31 for comfort and for encouragement to continue the good fight. He meditated on this one verse so frequently that, according to at least one account, he would often wake up in the middle of the night reciting its words, as if he had even been dreaming of them in his sleep.
As we face the inevitable struggles, disappointments, and difficulties of life, we, too, would do well to meditate on—to the point that we dream of—the words of Romans 8:31, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” This is our only real confidence in life as well as in death.