Nothing Can Come Between Us and the Love of God (Romans 8:31-39)
God is for us, says Paul, having given his own Son for “all of us” (Rom. 8:31–32). Nothing is able to come between us and the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord (Rom. 8:35–39). “Neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 8:38–39). Many of these things seem to threaten us in the sphere of work. We face menacing or incompetent bosses (rulers). We get stuck in dead-end jobs (things present). We make sacrifices now—working long hours, taking classes after work, serving in low-paid internships, moving to another country looking for work—that we hope will pay off later but may never pan out (things to come). We lose our jobs because of economic cycles or regulations or unscrupulous actions by powerful people we never even see (powers). We are forced by circumstance, folly, or the crimes of others into degrading or dangerous work. All these things can do us real hurt. But they cannot triumph over us.
Christ’s faithfulness—and ours, by God’s grace—overcomes the worst that life and work can do to us. If career progress, income, or prestige is our highest goal at work, we may end up disappointed. But if salvation—that is, reconciliation with God and people, faithfulness, and justice—is our chief hope, then we will find it amid both the good and bad in work. Paul’s affirmations mean that no matter what the difficulties we encounter with our work, or the complexities and challenges we face with co-workers or superiors in our workplaces, the love of God in Christ always abides with us. The love of God in Christ is the steadying force in the midst of adversity now, as well as our hope for bodily redemption in the future.