Reflections: Romans 16:20

When Struggle Ends

Romans 16:20 (ESV)
20  The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.

Here is a promise that a person can get behind! One of the greatest promises in all of Scripture…wait…the greatest promise is that God wins in the end. The enemy loses the battle and we who confess Christ as our Savior emerge victorious! Raise your hands in praise for that!

…but what about in the meantime? Paul writes that God of peace will soon crush Satan. That is not an immediate promise but a soon coming one. So, again, what about in the meantime? What about the struggle I am in right now, what about the temptation that is at my gate this very moment? Sometimes we just feel that we don’t have the strength to make it through even the next breath. Don’t panic. A lot of people feel that way (and a group even made a music video about it). Here in these moments is when we need to remember some other promises in Scripture about the right now.

First is another promise by Paul, who reminds us that our temptations are not uncommon and promises that we do not have to face them. Check it out:

1 Corinthians 10:13 (ESV)
13  No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it

The next promise comes from Jesus Himself, when he reminds us that we only need to worry about one day at a time and that our Heavenly Father knows the things we need and is pleased to provide them. Listen in (its a little longer but worth the read):

Matthew 6:25-34 (ESV)
25  “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?
26  Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?
27  And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?
28  And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin,
29  yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
30  But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
31  Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’
32  For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.
33  But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
34  “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Do you see a common thread running here? First is the unconditional, unchanging promise that God takes care of us, but the second is that we are going to have trouble in this world. Jesus promises that when he says  “In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33).

In our next Reflection we will look at the purpose of trouble in our lives. For today, though, rest assured that God loves you deeply and will provide a way for you to escape your trouble if you will only look to Him and place your trust were it belongs, square in the arms of your Father in Heaven.

Prayer: Father, help me to trust in you. Show me what it means to rest in Your arms and escape temptation. Draw me into a closer relationship with you. Amen!

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