Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, 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
How do I know that I can trust God to be faithful? How can I trust that there is eternal life found in him? How can I even trust God is real?
Through his grace I have been saved. I am deeply flawed. I continually make the same sinful mistakes over and over again. And yet he still died for me, he still forgave me, and he still offers me eternal life. I am no longer weighed down with the consuming weight of sin. A heavy burden I could not carry is now lifted. Through his grace I find the strength to forgive others. To be a reflection of his perfect grace and a window for others to see the salvation that awaits them if they only accept. Without his grace I would be burdened, and condemned but because of his grace I am not. God is faithful.
I now can truly find joy in life where it was not before. Life is still broken but there is now gladness despite the circumstances. I am joyful to know I am forgiven. I am beloved. I am sought after. There is joy knowing that your life matters and what you do with it matters to God. God is faithful.
I have a peace and understanding that goes beyond comprehension. Life can be so terribly hard, things will always be out of my control, but there is peace knowing I don’t need to be in control, because God is in control. He spent a millennia preparing the way for Christ his son and then sacrificing him for mankind so that I myself could be saved. After all that has already been done for me how could I ever think he would set out to abandon me now? God is faithful.
I have an undying hope that he will return, that there is a place beyond this world that I was meant for. This hope is something deep within my soul, something I can’t begin to explain. Something that was set free when his grace saved me. This hope is now very much my identity and is a light to others who are swept up in the dark. It guides them to their own hope in him. Hope sets me apart and hope pushes me forward. God is faithful.
And the greatest of these is love. The entire culmination of the Gospel is a redemptive story of perfect love. I was broken, my very nature rejected him, yet he still loves so entirely much, so entirely perfectly, that he died, he gave is last breath so that I MAY be saved. And there’s the beauty of it. He knew long before I took my first breath, that I could very well reject his salvation but he still died for me. He still loved me even if I didn’t love him. He still leaves us to choose. He wants us to choose to love him and to love others. God is faithful.
These five anchors that Paul mentions in Romans — grace, joy, peace, hope and love — are a reflection of God’s faithfulness. They are gifts that spring up within us from our salvation in Him. Testaments to his unwavering love and trustworthiness. And with them I can be certain I am saved, I am loved and I will spend eternity with Him fulfilling the purpose he created me for.
“He died not for men, but for each man. If each man had been the only man made, he would have done no less.”
— C.S. Lewis