One of the great encouraging questions in Scripture is found in Romans 8:35, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?” The reason it is such an encouraging question is because Paul makes the point that nothing can separate us from God’s love. He makes his point clear by stating that, “I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any power, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God.” Paul is teaching that no evil in this world, whether evil spirits or evil people, can take us away from God’s forever-present love. The love of God is like the smell of a wonderful feast in the oven. No other aroma can take away from its attractive presence. Nothing in this world is as good as the love of God that he offers freely through Jesus Christ.
And yes it is very true that from our eyes looking out there is nothing that can take us away from that love. However, in my experience the only time I have felt far from the comforting, relaxing, purposeful, hope-bringing aroma of God’s love is when I take myself from its presence. I can choose to leave the room filled with the aroma of God’s love. Unfortunately, I have done this in my life more than once. Because of my pride and arrogance I have chosen to live some time-periods of my life separated from the love of God. This can happen in times of sin, suffering, and hurt. During these times it doesn’t mean that God wasn’t extending his loving hand to me, just that I have chosen not to take it.
The only culprit that can take us away from the love of God is ourselves. In all times of suffering we are to open our hearts up to God to allow him to fill us with love for him, others, and life. The love of God gives purpose to all of life’s relationships, activities, and even suffering. What a life to have-living surrounded by the sweet aroma of God’s love. How encouraging!