“I am telling the truth in Christ (I am not lying!), for my conscience assures me in the Holy Spirit — I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed — cut off from Christ — for the sake of my people, my fellow countrymen.” Romans 9.1-3
Is there anything harder to trust God for than the salvation of those we love? This was Paul’s challenge. He felt a great burden to see his people coming to faith.
Chapters 9-11 of Romans reveal how he learned to trust and how we can too.
- Paul is honest about the pain and anguish he feels and expresses it fully to God (Romans 9:1-3). But he does not stop there.
- He considers the sovereignty, power, mercy, wisdom and grace of God, manifested throughout history, as God has worked to accomplish His eternal plan of salvation (Romans 9:14-18).
- Paul perseveres in prayer as he reflects on the specific obstacles to their faith (Romans 10:1-4).
- Paul confidently asserts that God can add anyone to His family tree, even those who have been cut off for a while (Romans 11:17-24).
- Finally, Paul praises God for His sovereign power, wisdom and mercy
When I am filled with anguish and worry concerning the eternal destiny of those I love, I will follow Paul’s path to trust in God. I invite you to do the same.
Father, You know how much I want my loved ones to become Your children. Thank You that You are the sovereign God who has planned this great salvation from eternity past and has worked it out throughout history. No one can stand against You. I ask You to open their eyes so that they might understand their need of You and see the beauty of Your perfect salvation. Show me clearly the part You would have me play in their story. Thank You that I can rest in Your perfect wisdom, power, and grace as I confidently wait on You. Amen.
Are you feeling anguish or sorrow as you consider the eternal fate of people you love? Why not read Romans 9-11, praying through the same steps Paul followed.