Bible Reading: Romans 8:31-39

“Be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” (Hebrews 13:5b-6)

We have all heard sermons on finding our contentment wholly in Christ. Of course, we will all say “amen” to that. We agree and accept that our enjoyment and satisfaction should ultimately be found in Christ alone and in our daily relationship with Him. But, let’s face the hard reality. If we were to be brutally honest, there is little to no chance that we would call reading the Bible the most desirable thing in our lives. At this point, you might rationalise and say, “well, you know, it does feel good when I read the Bible”. We know reading the Bible is right; we know enjoying a personal relationship with God should be the ideal. Still, the matter of fact is the least satisfaction we get in reading the Bible and relating to God is from the relief of guilt that otherwise would bother us for the rest of the day. 

There is one thing in our hearts that we cannot change — our desires. We can force ourselves to read God’s Word, pray, go to church, do ministry, but we can never force ourselves to love doing those things, to find our deepest satisfaction and whole contentment in knowing and serving our God. We can do them out of guilt because we know it’s right, but we can never change our heart’s desire towards it because our heart reveals who we truly are. You could deceive yourself into thinking you are a good Christian from all the outward actions you put on, but you can never change your heart to desire God as the deepest source of joy and contentment in your life. 

Romans 8:31-39 could be said as the climax of the book of Romans. It reveals to us the greatest promise of all; that we, who are God’s people, have God on our side. “Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died — more than that, who was raised — who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us” (Rom 8:33-34).

God, the ultimate Judge, has decided that we are righteous and we are His based on the evidence of Christ, God the second person’s atoning sacrifice. Moreover, Christ is the lawyer continually interceding for our case, and He knows exactly what the Father wills. What more do we have to fear? All the parties in the heavenly courtroom are for us. Not only that, the parties comprise of God Himself who is almighty over all things. No one will ever overthrow His decision, and His decision is 100% right, just and holy. Nothing can “separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom 8:39b), so we have nothing to fear! We can live in full contentment and satisfaction in what He has done!

It seems so great and all, but in reality, we are scared. I am scared. Because God’s promise is so big and so glorious, I just don’t believe it. I know I should, and I want to believe, but I just don’t. I could try to suppress my unbelief and chant mantras to engrain “belief” in myself; I’ve actually tried that, but it doesn’t work. So I am left trembling in fear, feeling hopeless, because my faith is small, and my desires are satisfied in other things like the praise other people give me and close relationships with friends and family. 

One of the most incredible things God has taught me is that this is 100% where He wants me to be. Because when I realise my faith is so small, I will realise that my God is so big. As the father of the demon-possessed boy said in Mark 9:24, “I believe; help my unbelief!”, so we should pray. Here is the thing; God wants us to trust in Him to change our desires. He wants us to trust in Him that He will help us trust in His promises. Only when we cling to God with the impossible will we see our faithful God work wonders in our life. With such, we can be content as Hebrews 13: 5b-6 says. We can be content not because we have faith but because God promises to create faith in us. He promises to change us as it says in Ezekiel 36:26, “And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you”. God never leaves, and if we trust in Him to work in the impossible in our lives, He will work to bear fruit. This is what abiding in Christ is, and by this, God is glorified. 

Lord, I believe, but help my unbelief! I want to have a heart that loves You and desires You, and is content in You. I know my heart does not have that. I know I still seek satisfaction in my sinful desires. Lord, you know my faith is little. Please change my heart as You promised in my heart. Let me see Your faithfulness and Your glory as You work miracles in my life. God, please help me trust in You, and please change my desires. Thank you, Lord, that You are good and that You love me. In Jesus name, Amen. 

Hans Sangtoki (18) is the coordinator of RE Generation Z. He has a passion for serving his generation and sharing hope in Christ. He also has an interest in classical music and dreams of conducting an orchestra one day.

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