For I Am Convinced
For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers,
nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers,
nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation,
will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Convinced and conviction are closely related in sound and in meaning. Convinced implies evidence which leads to a conclusion, while conviction is the statement of that conclusion.
Paul is doing both things here in Romans 8. Having had the experience of all sorts of troubles, he can still proclaim the faith he was given on the road to Damascus.
He witnesses to us, through 2,000 years of trouble, that God is still at work in the world and within us./p>
But faithful conviction is not the d=same as pragmatic proof.
We are not convinced merely by what we see, because so much of what we see in life points to the powers of the world having sway on outcomes.
No-our convictions are faith statements-
Powerful enough to change lives.
And we are not convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt-
The shadow that lingers keeps our feet on the pathways of light.
While the world seeks for absolutes,
We seek after truth.
The shadow reminds us that we are growing into God's truth,
And so we keep journeying.
Sometimes our hope in Christ is called providence. But not the kind of providence that implies everything is planned for us and we are mere puppets in God's creation.
Providence means that there is a creative and saving possibility implied in every situation, which cannot be destroyed by any event. Providence means that the daemonic and destructive forces within ourselves and our world can never have an unbreakable grasp upon us, and that the bond which connects us with the fulfilling love can never be disrupted.
In other words,
God created light,
And the darkness has not been able to extinguish it.
We keep our lamps held high through our convictions so that we may see and know the next step.
To view the complete article by Paul Tillich go to www.religion-online.org - The Shaking the the Foundations.
© 2008 The Center for Spiritual Development at Saint James Monkton