In one of my college education classes, a guest speaker from Black Forest Academy shared about some of the bilingual boarding school’s unique practices. The most memorable part of her lecture was when she relayed one of the school’s daily routines. Each morning, students repeat the following phrase in German and in English, adjusting it to reflect the date: “It’s Friday, August 8, and God is still on His throne.”
I’ve often thought of a German classroom full of students declaring twice each morning that God is on His throne. Today. Right now. Their school year hasn’t begun yet, but if it had, they would’ve recited the truth already while this side of the world was still asleep.
God is still on His throne.
Ebola has caused “a public health emergency of international concern.” Violence continues to escalate in Israel. The militant group ISIS has run Christians out of their hometowns, and the conditions are worsening rapidly. If you’re at all like me, you might start to feel like the walls are closing in around you.
When I think about these situations coupled with the more “routine” suffering of life, I have questions. There is an abundance of confusion, increasing frustration, and grappling with the unknown.
Although there are plenty of questions, I do know for sure that literally nothing and no one can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:38-39). God’s love for His people is a stronger force than Ebola, Hamas, and ISIS combined. The world’s greatest tragedies and most feared rulers are no match for God. Your greatest nightmare – whatever, whoever it involves – isn’t the worst thing that could happen to you.
Separation from God is the nightmare of all nightmares, and it’s exactly what Romans 8 announces is a glorious impossibility for those who are in Christ. This doesn’t diminish the reality of pain and suffering; it makes the reality of pain and suffering bearable by reminding us it is temporary. It puts pain and suffering in proper perspective, declaring they won’t get the last word. It redeems pain and suffering by making them a means by which we can know Christ, the suffering Servant, better.
Because of what Jesus accomplished through His life, death, resurrection, and ascension, we can grieve the reality of evil while anticipating cosmic redemption (Romans 8:23). We can feel the tumultuous winds of a groaning world while firmly fixed to a solid Rock.
I don’t know what the rest of today holds, but I know our good God is still on His throne, and we couldn’t possibly be any more secure – no matter what.