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 ESV
This passage has been one of my favorites for a very long time, but it might not be for obvious reasons. I love that one thing builds and leads to something else, all the while claiming and holding tight to the promises of God. It’s like seeing the summary of our walk with Christ. Accepting Jesus as my savior, trusting in him, ignites my relationship and allows his provision and plan for me to move into my personal and intimate walk with him. Limitless, matchless grace through faith, giving way to unending peace — peace that just can’t be explained, peace in the midst of any circumstance, the peace of God immediately and eternally taking hold of my soul and becoming what I cling to and my compass to navigate me through life’s journey. That isn’t even my most treasured part of the passage! I am absolutely in awe of Romans 5:3–5! God’s intention is always to bring the most amazing out of that which seems condemned and hopeless, while continually growing us and seeing us through the whole process. The Message translation says it this way:
There’s more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary—we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!
— Romans 5:3–5 MSG
How different our lives would be if we embraced the very thing that seemed to weigh us down? I am not sure that I will ever throw a party on my worst day, get excited when times are tough, much less celebrate the sadness, but what if I became so infatuated with God, his word, and his promises that I could see the circumstance from his perspective? After all, our circumstances, whether they seem good or bad, are simply incredible opportunities to watch God work and see his glory revealed. We may not see the immediate outcome, but God is always intentionally, intimately, and intricately at work. We just have to live out our faith and trust him to be who he is.
There are a lot of people truly weighed down by the day to day and the here and now. “The struggle is real” seems to have become the theme of their life. We all face hard times. The enemy’s mission is to steal, kill and destroy. He is always at work to bring devastation, destruction, and desolation to this world and all of the people in it, but God is God. The struggle may be real, but in Jesus, there is always hope. There is always a plan to set things right. God is greater, period, and he is continually working things out for our good. His provision is always perfect. We may not see the how, but we can always trust, claim, and know the promises, provision, and plan of God!