“The Lord has promised good to me
His word my hope secures;
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.”

Amazing Grace by John Newton, Verse 4

One of the two verses Newton carved over his fireplace was Deuteronomy 15:15,  “15 Remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God redeemed you; for this reason I lay this command upon you today.”  This verse reminded Newton that not only had the Israelites been freed from slavery but so had he.  He was freed from slavery to sin.  He was freed because he was convinced Jesus “had promised good for me.”  This grounded his fight against slavery in England.  But Newton believed Jesus saved him “from” sin to “blessing.”  One of the passages that brings many great comfort is found in Romans 8:35-39:

35 Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written,

‘For your sake we are being killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep to be slaughtered.’ 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 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.”

Nothing can separate us from the good God has intended for us.  Perhaps it does not feel so true today as we struggle with the hardships and ugliness of this world but each morning the sun shines and the resurrection assures us that God is working in unseen and unexpected ways to bring about good for us.  We are challenged to trust and persevere.  Let us pray for clarity to see through the trials to the God we cannot be separated from, even by the crosses we carry.  Jesus is risen and is working good for our lives. That’s a promise we can hang on to. Thank you Lord!

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