Title: What sickness cannot do
Theme: God love for the believer cannot be separated by anything not even tribulation, disease or death.
Text: Romans 8:35-39
Introduction: We are here to embrace this family as they mourn the loss of a son. But we have also come with them to listen to the Gospel. At times such as these, when we can be overwhelmed by our emotions, it is important to hear the words of faith, words which have sustained us through the good and hard times of life. We turn to Paul’s words of comfort, which assure us that there is nothing - not hardship, nor persecution, nor danger, nor the unknown, nor conditions, nor death itself - nothing in all creation that will ever be able to sever our relationship with God in Christ. Nothing can separate us from God’s love.
These hopeful words from Paul become the focus of our attention as we gather in grateful praise for the life of our brother, whom his mother loved dearly. It was a life of someone who endurance thru pain and suffering. Like Jesus, he let out a last cry and gave up his ghost. And we are grateful. But his leaving us gives his mother a sense void and separation.
Antithesis: Separation is defined as to set asunder, disunite or disjoin and to sever. Separation often distinguishes two things apart from another. For example, two towns may be separated by a river or street. A fence in your yard may separate your land from your neighbors. When we hear the word separation certain things pop in our head. Separation usually has a negative connotation. For example, Blacks are separated from whites, rich are separated from the poor and husbands and wives get separated.
And in biblically thinking, we see in Scriptures the Jews were separated from the Gentiles, how the wheat is separated from the tears, the believer and the unbeliever. But today we are witnessing another type of separation, the separation that occurs when life ends. Death is the separation of the body and the spirit.
Death is the termination of life in this world. All life forms reach the end of their natural existence. Unlike other life forms, however, human beings are aware of their own mortality. This awareness produces a variety of responses. One of those emotional response is the feeling of lose and abandonment. In this separation there is a pain of saying goodbye and never seeing that person again on this side of heaven. It is looking at an empty seat that once embodied your loved one. It is the separation of a familiar voice, which is now an echo in your mind. Separation is heart breaking enough, but it seems even worse when the person is in the prime of their life.
Sickness can seem unconquerable at times. Sometimes we don’t really know where it comes from and how someone gets sick. But we do know the impact on the families who have dealt with this vicious enemy. I praise God for all the survivors of different sickness and disease but my heart goes out to those who fell victim into its clutches. Sickness kills. When we hear of some sicknesses, it pricks our hearts and tests our faith because we know how detrimental they can be!
Thesis: But there is good news! No matter how powerful you may think a sickness is, it is limited compared to the power of God’s love that enables to mourn the loss of our brother and to live on and be joyous holding on to precious memories of a loving friend and brother.
Any sickness is limited in what it can do compared to a God who can do anything. No matter how terrible it is, it is no match for an awesome God. You may be saying how so, when sickness killed Earl. He heard the call from God and went home to be with the Lord. Sickness may have killed his body but not his soul!
Relevant question: So what can separate us? Let us look at the text.
What is sickness? Verse 35 sums up what sickness is. It is tribulation. It is distress. It is persecution. It is famine. It is nakedness. It is peril and a sword. However, first, sickness is temporary. One day it will end. We serve God that works outside of time and gives us eternal life. God is more concerned with the eternity than the temporary. The believer knows John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” I am so glad that I am in the “whosoever”! Sickness can’t do anything to the everlasting! Amen
Second, sickness is a trial or a test. But the believer knows John 16:33b “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world”. And because Jesus overcame, we are overcomers because of His love. If you are a believer, you are an overcomer because “greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world”.
How does sickness make us feel?
Verse 36 tells us the sickness makes us feel that we are dying. Those of us who are connected to someone who has been sick feel like they are sick too. This verse is referring to a sheep being killed as sacrifice. We are as sheep. Pause. This verse also typifies Christ. Christ is the sheep that slain for foundation of the world. It is the blood of Jesus that was shed on Calvary allows the sufferer to experience the Glory of the Lord. Our suffering identifies us with Jesus. Act 5:41 tells us that the apostles rejoiced because they suffered because of the name of Jesus. Roman 8:17 also tells us that if you suffer with him, we reign with him. Therefore, you can rejoice knowing that you will reign with Jesus because you suffered! Hallelujah!
Though today, apart of us died. But if anything is going to die today, let it be your flesh, let it be your will, and let it be your guilt but don’t let it be you faith. Trust in God and live for Jesus! Because there will be a resurrection. Jesus is the resurrection and the life! This is our hope as a believer. This is our assurance that one day we will see those who died in the Lord.
How do we respond to sickness?
Verse 37 tells us the answer to when sickness comes knocking at you door. And that is to say “no”. No, it is not going make me angry because my son is at peace. No, it is not going to make me stop worshiping God because God allowed me to have a son who loved me and for to love me. You got to say no to sickness. Why? It is because you are more than a conqueror through Him that loved us. This is better translated “that you gain surpassing victory”. You keep on winning. Why do you keep on winning? It is because Jesus won the battle for you!
Since God is on my side, it causes me to think differently about sickness.
Verse 38-39 tells me because of Jesus, I am persuaded nothing can separate me for the love of God. I am persuaded. I am convinced. I am persuaded neither, death, life, angels, principalities, powers, things present, things to come, height, depth or any living creature shall be able to separate me from the love of God!
You may not have sickness physically but you may have it spiritually or psychologically. There may be something eating away your mind and your spirit that is trying to kill you and you can do nothing about it. But you have to remember “no weapon from against you can prosper”! Nothing can separate you from God’s love that is why I am persuaded!
· I am persuaded that earth has no sorrow that heaven cannot heal
· I am persuaded that weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning
· I am persuaded that it is not by might, not by power, but by His Spirit
· I am persuaded that he will never leave me nor forsake me!
· I am persuaded of what sickness cannot do:
· Sickness cannot love because God is love. He loves me to me much to leave me
· Sickness cannot stop my faith.
· Sickness cannot stop my peace. Because he will keep me in perfect peace because mind is stead on thee
· Sickness can’t stop me from praying. Even when I can’t get a word out, the Holy Ghost interprets every moan. He hears my cry and answers by and by.
· Lastly, Sickness can stop my praise. I will bless Lord at all times.
Conclusion: Who can separate us from the love of God? Nothing in all Creation! That is why we come to this place of worship in our grief. Here we thank and praise our God for the life of our brother and for the New Life, Eternal life, of which we have in Christ. For in him we live, and move, and have our being. And we praise God for the victory which is ours in Christ Jesus as we encourage one another with the Good news that, "Nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord."