“Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?” “– But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.” – Romans 8:35,37 (NASB)
Paul asks another rhetorical question, to say “no one will ever be able to separate us from the love Christ has for us.” This is not our love for Christ but Christ’s love for us. In verse 37 Paul emphasizes that we have the victory, because we have conquered each of the threats “through Him who loved us.” The word translated ‘tribulation’ in the version we use here is also translated ‘affliction.’ In fact this Greek word means ‘persecution, affliction, and distress. Friends, each of these threats are real matters in the lives of those who believe in and profess Jesus as their Lord and Savior. This is not simply Paul spouting philosophical concepts. No, for if we read 2 Corinthians 11:23-29 we find Paul had already suffered the first of these seven hardships before he took to writing this letter* to Christians in Rome who were facing them as well. The apostle was speaking not only by inspiration but also from experience, therefore, when he stated that none of these things can bring about separation between believers and their Lord. He knew what he was saying!* Nothing exists that can separate us from God’s love. It is unbreakable!
*William Hendriksen and Simon J. Kistemaker, Exposition of Paul’s Epistle to the Romans, New Testament Commentary, (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1953–2001), 12-13:291.