Reading: Roman 5: 1-5
Verse Five: God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit.
Chapter Five opens with Paul’s declaration that we can claim peace with God through Jesus Christ because we are made right through our faith. It is a bold statement but one we live into every day as Christians. Our faith in Jesus Christ brings us into God’s grace, the unmerited gift of forgiveness that washes away our sins so that we can stand before God holy and pure. It is an amazing love that makes us righteous day after day after day, sin after sin after sin. It is a love without limit. It is indeed the hope of the glory of God which leads Paul to rejoice. May we rejoice as well!
In verse three Paul shifts directions but not end results. Not only do we enjoy a peace with God that leads us to rejoice, but Paul also encourages us to rejoice in our sufferings as well. Being made right through God’s grace allows us to have hope in our future. For Paul, he saw this same hope as the end result of our suffering. For Paul, suffering was a necessary part of our Christian journey. As Saul the Pharisee he certainly had inflicted much suffering on Christians and as Paul the Apostle he definitely endured his share of suffering and persecution.
For Paul, he rejoiced in the sufferings because he knew it would lead to a deepening of his faith. Paul had learned that in suffering righteously one learns perseverance. When we lean into God and endure with the power and hope that Jesus Christ offers, then through the power of the Holy Spirit we can persevere. As we trust in God and live within His presence, that develops our Christian character. Our hope in God’s glory grows as we experience the power and strength of God carrying us through our trials. We begin to see these earthly troubles as bumps along the way to experiencing God’s eternal glory. This in turns leads to an ever growing hope. It is a hope that is everlasting. It is the hope that will not disappoint or fade. It is the hope that thieves cannot steal and moths cannot destroy. It is the hope we come to know beyond the shadow of a doubt because we come to fully know that “God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit”.
As Christians we face each new day with God’s love deep in our hearts. May we walk in faith and hope this day and every day, trusting in the God who loves us beyond all measure.