Romans 8 is such a beautiful, wonderful passage of promise and hope. It was hard to know what part to highlight on our read-through-the-Bible plan. Here are John Piper’s comments:
Verse 35 says that there will be tribulation and distress and persecution and sword. Verse 36 says that Christians are being killed all day long, they are counted like sheep to be slaughtered. Paul said that. So what does he mean, “Who can be against us?” I think he means no one can be successfully against us.
The devil and sinful men can make you sick, can steal your car, can sow seeds of strife in your marriage, can take away your job, and rob you of your child. But verse 28 says, God works all those things together for your good if you love him. And if they finally work for your good, the designs of the adversary are thwarted and his aim to be against you is turned into a Christ-exalting, soul-sanctifying, faith-deepening, painful benefit. If God is for you, he does not spare you these things. But he designs good where the adversary designs evil (Genesis 50:20; 45:7). The things that are against you he designs to be for you. No one can be successfully against you.
What an impact this should have on our lives! We should not be like the world if these things are so. Most of the world chooses its lifestyle because it fears sickness and theft and terror and loss of job and a dozen other things. But to the follower of Jesus, the Lord says, “The gentiles seek all these things. You seek the kingdom first” (see Matthew 6:32-33). God will give you what you need. And what you lose or lack in the kingdom-ministry of love and sacrifice and suffering will work for your good and come back to you, in some God-designed way, a hundredfold.
So stand before your adversary and speak the gospel, whether in Kankan, Guinea, or Istanbul, Turkey, or Tentara, Indonesia, or Minneapolis, Minnesota. And say to those who even plan to take your life: “Do what you must, but in the end all your words and all your injury can only refine my faith, and enlarge my reward, and dispatch me to paradise with the risen Jesus Christ.” O how different we will be if we believe that God is for us and no one can be against us!