Reading: Romans 5: 1-11
This short section of Romans is a great summary of our faith. It begins with grace, which is always with us. When we enter into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, we experience a grace that justifies, or makes us right with God. Through this same relationship, we receive an undeserved and unmerited forgiveness that God pours out upon us. Paul acknowledges that we do suffer at times, but he also rejoices because in doing so we are made more like Christ, who also suffered for the faith. When we have suffering or trials, though, it works in us to build perseverance which builds our character, shaping how we see and ‘deal’ with future trials. It is through this process that we also build hope. It is a hope based upon our relationship with Jesus, one that grows as we live a life that rests in His love and care.
Verse eight reminds us of God’s unlimited love for us: “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us”. Jesus did not wait for us to be good or fixed or perfect. He died for a bunch of sinners. It is through the blood of the cross that our sins are washed away. It is through Jesus’ gift on the cross that we are reconciled to God, made new again, and able to claim the gift of eternal life.
The hope we hold onto is based upon God’s love and promises. Through God’s love and grace we are justified and forgiven, finding a peace within our souls. We release the guilt and shame of our sins and live as freed children of God. As a child of God, saved through our relationship with the Son, we hold the promise of eternal life. We know that nothing in this world can separate us from this promise. It gives us great hope in this life and in the life to come. It allows us to walk through the trials and sufferings, trusting that God is in control and that He is with us through it all. Knowing this allows us to persevere and to know that, in the end, all will be good because we are in God’s love and care.
All of this is good news! To all who are lost or broken or hurting, this is great news. May we share this hope with one in need today.