Good afternoon, Drawing Near to God community! This week in our journey through Romans, we looked at the Effects of Reconciliation with God, focusing on Romans 5:8:
But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8
Isn’t that powerful? While we were yet sinners Christ died for us! Think about that for a moment. Paul puts it this way: “Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But Christ demonstrates His love for us in that while we were still sinners He died for us” (vv 7-8). Somehow that puts it all in perspective. God demonstrated His love for us by sending Jesus Christ, His Son to earth to reconcile (bridge the gap) between our sins and God’s holiness. Where we were once separated from God due to sin, Jesus Christ’s death reconciled us back to the Father. We didn’t deserve it. In fact, we deserved death ourselves, but He came bringing us life and life abundantly. When we put our hope in Jesus Christ and choose to believe in Him, we receive His gift of grace and forgiveness and the peace of God fills our lives because we have peace with God. Our peace with God enables us to have peace in God.
Let’s look at some of the effects of being reconciled to God, which Paul demonstrates in Romans 5:1-5:
- peace with God and peace in God
- obtained access into grace in which we stand
- rejoice in the hope of the glory of God
- rejoice in our sufferings which produce Christ-like character
- God’s love poured into our hearts
Did you catch point #4 – about sufferings? And rejoicing in them? That sounds tough, doesn’t it? Paul shares that the grace of God poured over us enables us to stand against the storms of life and rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. He underscores that suffering will produce Christ-like character in us to persevere and to grab hold of the hope that God pours into our lives.
Think of it like a ladder, one rung and then the next. The strong ladder of suffering we climb of produces:
- Endurance produces character
- Character produces hope
- Hope does not put us to shame
What circumstances seem beyond your control at the moment? What suffering are you facing? Cry out to God and He will pour His love into your heart giving you a hope that will never disappoint.