Here’s Your Roadmap for Navigating the Current Crisis

Here’s an icebreaker question for you. If you could only have one chapter of the Bible to read and study for the rest of your life, which chapter would you choose, and why?

For me, it’s the eighth chapter of Romans. No doubt. Virtually everything you need to know about the good news of the New Covenant and living the Christian life is there. In 39 verses, Paul manages to pack an entire life’s worth of spiritual truth and practical instruction.

And I’ve never seen a more beautiful rendering of those verses than the recently released version called The Passion Translation.

I mention all this because Romans 8 provides believers a perfect roadmap for getting through this current global disruption in peace and victory. You can read it for yourself here. But allow me to summarize the waypoints on this journey:

1. Verses 1-4: The chapter opens with the familiar, treasured declaration that there is “no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. The Passion Translation renders it this way:

So now the case is closed. There remains no accusing voice of condemnation against those who are joined in life-union with Jesus, the Anointed One.”

v. 1-2

These opening verses remind you that you have been gifted the very righteousness of Jesus Christ, and therefore fully qualify for everything He died to provide.

In the midst of this disruption and negative news storm, it’s vital to be mindful that every promise in God’s Word belongs to you because your qualification is not in yourself, but in Jesus.

2. Verses 5-9: Paul moves next to an exhortation about focus. He points out the temptation to be mindful primarily of earthy, natural things (the flesh) rather than spiritual things. This is always a hazard because natural things are readily perceived by our five senses, whereas spiritual things are invisible, yet very real. Paul warns:

For the mind-set of the flesh is death, but the mind-set controlled by the Spirit finds life and peace.  In fact, the mind-set focused on the flesh fights God’s plan and refuses to submit to his direction,[f] because it cannot!


3. Verses 14-17: Paul then turns your identity in Jesus. Namely, that you are an adopted son or daughter of the Most High God. The implications of that adoption are . . .

And you will never feel orphaned, for as he rises up within us, our spirits join him in saying the words of tender affection, “Beloved Father!” For the Holy Spirit makes God’s fatherhood real to us as he whispers into our innermost being, “You are God’s beloved child!”


Just as the opening verse of the chapter suggests. This means “you quailify” for every good and perfect gift God has made available in His son:

And since we are his true children, we qualify to share all his treasures, for indeed, we are heirs of God himself.


Paul then reminds of why things around us often seem so messed up. And why virus plagues, droughts, and earthquakes still stalk the earth from time to time. The world is broken. Sin broke it. But the cure is already in the earth. That cure is us:

 For against its will the universe itself has had to endure the empty futility resulting from the consequences of human sin. But now, with eager expectation, all creation longs for freedom from its slavery to decay and to experience with us the wonderful freedom coming to God’s children.


The NASB puts it this way: “For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God.”

For here, Paul pivots to pointing out, now that the Spirit of God is living within us, we too are inwardly longing and groaning for a fuller restoration of broken Creation and the broken order of things. He says that we don’t know how to pray to help bring this about. But that same Spirit that creates that longing within us, DOES know how to pray for these things.

We learn that Spirit is ready, willing, and available to pray through us, if only we’ll yield ourselves to Him in this way:

And in a similar way, the Holy Spirit takes hold of us in our human frailty to empower us in our weakness. For example, at times we don’t even know how to pray, or know the best things to ask for. But the Holy Spirit rises up within us to super-intercede on our behalf, pleading to God with emotional sighs too deep for words.


Everything that has come before leads Paul to a point where he can reveal one of the most important and glorious truths in all of the New (and better) Covenant. He proclaims that “God causes all things to work together for the good of those who love Him because they have responded to His wooing call. Or as The Passion renders it:

So we are convinced that every detail of our lives is continually woven together to fit into God’s perfect plan of bringing good into our lives, for we are his lovers who have been called to fulfill his designed purpose.


Most Christians (and non-Christians) have a skewed, cartoonish understanding of God’s sovereignty. I have written about this at length on this blog (see here) so I want re-cover that ground now.

I will simply say that Romans 8:28 does NOT say, “For we know that God causes all things.” There is no period after “things.”

The sheer wonder and majesty of all of this—particularly God’s genius in working it all out in advance—sweeps Paul into a song of worship and praise concering the powerful, infinite love of God.

This is a love strong and relentless enough to carry the objects of that love through the any man-made or natural crisis:

So, what does all this mean? If God has determined to stand with us, tell me, who then could ever stand against us? 32 For God has proved his love by giving us his greatest treasure, the gift of his Son. And since God freely offered him up as the sacrifice for us all, he certainly won’t withhold from us anything else he has to give.


v.33: Because God loves us, no one can condemn or judge us.

v. 34: The only one with a right to condemn us—Jesus—is our powerful heavenly advocate!

v. 35-38 There is no power in the created universe strong enough to break God’s loving, good-doing hold on you. Nothing in heaven or hell can separate you, even for a moment, from God’s kindness and care.

Here is everything you need to sail through the turbulent waters in which we now find ourselves.

  • You are righteous and blameless
  • Just keep your focus on spiritual realities rather than natural realities.
  • Live in awareness that you are God’s beloved Child.
  • Allow the Spirit of God to lead your praying, and allow Him to pray through you.
  • Rest in the confidence that, although God isn’t causing the current suffering and disruption, He IS brilliantly causing all things to work for your good, and for the good of all His people, plans, and purposes in the earth.
  • Soak in an awareness of God’s love for you. Be mindul of it. Speak of it. Give thanks for it.
{Note: I recently wrote a decree or proclamation rooted in the scriptures we've just examined, and posted it over at the Cup & Table Co. blog.  It's written as a corporate declaration, but can easily personlize it. You'll find it here.