The news is difficult to watch or hear! A horrific shooting in Las Vegas. Hurricanes that destroyed cities. A divided nation. The sad list could go on.

How is a Christian to feel? Sure, someday we will be in heaven. But that day hasn’t arrived, so we need to live here and make sense of what is happening around us.

In Romans 8, Paul discusses what Christ has done for us and what this means for us. He begins with “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus” (v. 1). That is the gospel — Jesus died for you and through faith in him you are forgiven and forever God’s child! Since we haven’t died yet, we still live in this sinful world. We still have a sinful nature. But that doesn’t control us any longer. “You, however, are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit” (v. 9) — “Spirit” in this verse refers to who we are as Christians. We daily strive to live as God’s children.

But we cannot control so much of what happens in our world. Paul addressed those situations: “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is going to be revealed to us” (v. 18). He also said, “We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to his purpose” (v. 28). These very real troubles don’t distract us from the very real promises that God will not leave us!

“If God is for us, who is against us?” (v. 31). Through faith in Jesus, you are on the winning side of history! God is with you.

All this leads Paul to address the difficulty of living in this world: “affliction or distress or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword” (v. 35).

At the end of the chapter, Paul gives us a perspective on the world of sin and sorrow. These cannot ruin what matters most in life. They cannot separate us from our Savior: “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (v. 37-39).

We live in a world where troubles happen and could happen to us. But we also live with the guarantee that God will not leave us — more than that, he will take us to heaven! We don’t relish the troubles of this world and we are sickened by the wickedness that humans are able to do. But we don’t despair. The Lord is still sitting on his throne watching over us. His grace will sustain us through these trials and eventually take us into the glory of heaven.

“I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world.” (John 16:33)