BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY…. “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ…and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” Romans 5:1-5 ESV
How can a person be right or “righteous” in the eyes of a Holy God? That is what Paul is addressing in the first few chapters of Romans. The Old Testament concept of righteousness was “following or living by the Law of Moses.” But instead of “righteous” living by the law giving confidence of connection with God, it only made people more aware of their failures.
Paul stated it in this way, “For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.” (Romans 3:20 ESV) The result of the law was that it made us more aware of our sinfulness than our righteousness. It caused more frustration and fear than peace and confidence.
But through faith in Christ there is a new hope and direction. “But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law… the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe.” (Romans 3:21,22 ESV)
Paul now tells us this “justification” by faith results in peace with God. The questions about whether we are “good enough” or is God is pleased with us, is forever settled. When we have peace with God, we can have peace with ourselves and the world in which we live.
Paul then says, “we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” In Christ the promise of Jeremiah 29:11 is fulfilled, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Faith in Christ brings confident living and the anticipation that all of the promises of God are ours. It shapes our future and gives assurance of our destiny in this life and the next.
Finally, Paul says, “we rejoice in our sufferings.” Our faith in God does not shield us from the trails of life and the test of our faith, but sustains us in the midst of those circumstances. The reason for this “rejoicing” is because we can see beyond the current trial. The “suffering” of life is the beginning, not the end. “….suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame…”
This statement is related to what Paul says later when he writes, “…we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28 ESV)
God’s purpose is for us to know we are “right” in His eyes, to have peace with Him and to know that as we walk with Him our future glory is bright and secure.
Prayer for today…. Lord allow us to never take peace with You for granted. May we embrace it and live fully in You as we see You work in our lives and as we anticipate our future destiny in You; both in this life and the life to come.