On more than one occasion I’ve been part of a sports team where the coach or someone that he had chosen was called in to lead a prayer with us before we went out to play the game. Most of the times the prayers were pretty standard and about people not getting hurt and everyone being a good sport. But I remember a few occasions when the one praying would really get into his prayer and would pray that we would beat the other team badly. I even remember one when the one praying said, “Lord, I know you are on our side in this game to help us to play like the winners you have made us to be.” Even as a teenager, I will a little uneasy with that prayer. I just couldn’t imagine God caring who won the high school ball game. As adults we take it to a whole new level and often pray for victory in wars or disagreements with other nations as though we were his chosen nation and he didn’t love and care for the other nation the same as he does us. Bringing it down lower than that when we get into disagreements personally or even in churches or between Christians, it is easy to assume God is on our side and that he is out to hurt or destroy the ones we are disagreeing with. I suspect in the judgment God will open our eyes to see that we were actually different family members hurting each other and doing harm to the whole body of Christ in our actions.
In spite of all of that, “God is for us”. Look at Romans 8:31-35 ” What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all – how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died – more than that, who was raised to life – is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?” There is no question God is for us when we are his people and living for him. He paid the highest price so we can be forgiven of our sins and live in a close relationship with him every day. But notice that our having God on our side meant that nothing could separate us from his love, it didn’t mean that as Christians we wouldn’t go through trouble, hardship, persecution, famine, nakedness or danger or sword. When we are going through tough times and think that God has turned his back on us we need to realize he was the one who gave his Son so we can be forgiven. He loved the apostles, but 11 of the 12 died as martyrs and the 12th was exiled for his preaching of the gospel.
Here is the thing that should stand out in our minds, “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.’ No, in all these things we are MORE THAN CONQUERORS THROUGH HIM WHO LOVED US. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present not the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:36-39). God is on our side as his children. But it doesn’t mean we won’t be attacked by the devil, it means he will give us a way of escape and give us help in overcoming it. It doesn’t mean we won’t die, but that death will not be the end of it all for us that there is life beyond the grave that never ends. It doesn’t mean we won’t face the powers of this dark world, but that God can overcome and changes the powers of the world through our prayers and trust in him.
God is for you in that he is ready to save, forgive, offer grace and give you a new start anytime. He is ready to make you clean so you can start a whole new life for him in this world. But, do remember he is just as much for the other Christians who are serving him and part of his family. If we expect God to get into our family fusses and destroy those who aren’t saying what we want to hear, we are expecting something God never promised. He loves his church so much he gave his son to die on the cross to redeem her and he longs to present her to himself as a glorious church without spot or wrinkle or any such thing but that we should be holy and blameless in him.
Praise the Lord, God is on our side!