My kids love to play four square on the driveway. You see them out there competing against each other trying to get that ball to bounce and to get away from the other person. When you’re playing four square you have three opponents to keep an eye on. Any one of them can be against you, any one of them can get you out. It’s a lot easier if you can get one of those players to be on your side. Then you’ve only got to watch two. Then if someone’s being king for a long time and all three players team up, then you’ve only got to watch one. The idea of being able to number those who are against you can be an important part to winning a game. Can be an important part to winning life’s game too.
The world is really divided into two teams. Gods team and everyone else’s. In Romans chapter 8 Paul tells us something great about God’s team. He says
If God is for us, who can be against us? Indeed, he who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also graciously give us all things along with him? (Romans 8:31-32)
As we are playing life’s game, sometimes it feels like God’s against us. We can feel like God is just letting everything go against us. Life isn’t turning out the way we want it to, our dreams aren’t being met. Sometimes, bad things happen to us. And we can turn our gaze toward the heaven and ask God what are you doing? Why are you letting this happen to me? It can feel as if God is against us.
Paul here has a strong line of logic to help us think through that feeling. He said If God did not spare his own Son they gave him up for us all, how will he not also along with him graciously give us all things? Paul’s line of reasoning was this: if God was willing to give you Jesus, if God was willing to send his Son to suffer and die to pay for your sins, if God was willing to do that, when you didn’t deserve it, is there anything that God won’t do for you?
Clear answer is no, there’s nothing. If God was willing to give us Jesus, then there’s nothing that he won’t do for us. He is really for us. Now as we live out life’s game, and we have those hardships, we need to remember this. Instead of jumping to the conclusion that God is against us, that God is punishing us, that God is working things for our harm, we need to remember what God was willing to do.
He loves you. He forgives you. And he promises to work life’s game for your good. So trust. When things aren’t going the way you want them to don’t doubt God’s love for you. Doubt your understanding of his plan. Take a step back and remember that he loves you. Remember that he has promised to work all things for you good and so even in this hardship whatever it may be, those promises still stand. So God is for you because of Jesus. He is on your side. In Him you win. Amen.