Romans 5 At Home With God
The first five verses of the fifth chapter of Paul’s letter to the Romans are powerful and transformative. We can read it in a few seconds, yet it could alter the rest of our lives. We can read it in a few seconds and live it for the rest of our lives. What I write here should not been as comprehensive, but a few exploratory notes. I want to try to open up these verses for you and maybe you could take a deeper look at them on your own.
Since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. (Romans 5:1, 2)
Trusting faith did what the labor to produce and earn could never do given us peace with God. Before Jesus, no one could get to Jesus. Jesus leads us into the very presence of God. He opens the door wide for all to enter and come boldly before the very presence of God. When that door is open, we find grace, pure unadulterated grace, not condemnation, not judgment, not wrath, but the boundless, undeserved, awesome loving kindness of God.
When we tried to depend on our own, we were tossed about and at unease. Like a man on a raft at sea in a storm, we were constantly threatened to overwhelm us completely and be drowned. We were in chaos. We were unprotected. Like a small mammal in a violent storm that could not burrow into the ground for shelter or fly above the storm, we were lost and unable on our own to survive let alone thrive. Having reached the haven of God’s grace, we know the clam the peace of depending not on what we can do but what God has already done for is. Because of who Jesus is and what he has done we have entry to the haven of God’s grace and peace.
By faith we obtain what God has always wanted to do for us—right relationship with God. We are made right with God because of Jesus. We open ourselves to God discovering at the same moment God has already thrown open his Kingdom to us. We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might in God’s love and grace, standing tall and shouting our praise. We find ourselves in the Kingdom and knowing we belong there that this where we have always wanted to be and the only place where we feel right and at home.
Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. (Romans 5:3-5)
All kinds of things press in on us. From stress, sorrow, persecution, unpopularity, and loneliness hems us in making us worry and fear that goodness has left us not to return. Paul says all that pressure produces fortitude. The person who can overcome doesn’t passively endure but actively overcomes suffering. Fortitude produces character. When struggle is met with fortitude, we emerge stronger, better, and nearer to God. As someone once remarked what doesn’t kills us only makes us stronger. If we are going through darkness, keep going until we see the light. Strife is not the end but on the beginning to becoming strong and better.
If we let ourselves become weak and flabby, if we let circumstances get us down we become the kind of people who when challenged despair. Instead, if we face the harshness of life head on unflinchingly, if we always face things as they come; then, when challenge comes we meet them with hope. The person tested always emerges in and with hope.
We shout our praise even when trouble comes, because we know how torment can develop the patience that in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping alert for whatever God will do next. We know that in the darkest night on the worst day of our life God is with us. We’re never disappointed. We can never contain everything God so generously lavishes onto our lives through the Holy Spirit.
When our hope is firmly in God, it cannot turn to dust. When our hope is firmly in God, it cannot be disillusioned. When our hope is firmly in the love of God, it can never be transitory for God loves us with an everlasting love. Put your hope in God and his love for you and you will capture a glimpse of the glory that waits for us. Put your hope in God and his love for you and life and you will never be the same you will face all life dishes out and live life to the full to the max.
Grace and peace