In this week’s podcast, we take a look at Romans 5:1-11 and see how it relates to what’s going on in today’s world – both on a grand scale and as individuals.
Romans 5 (TLB)
So now, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith in his promises, we can have real peace with him because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. 2 For because of our faith, he has brought us into this place of highest privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to actually becoming all that God has had in mind for us to be.
3 We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they are good for us—they help us learn to be patient. 4 And patience develops strength of character in us and helps us trust God more each time we use it until finally our hope and faith are strong and steady. 5 Then, when that happens, we are able to hold our heads high no matter what happens and know that all is well, for we know how dearly God loves us, and we feel this warm love everywhere within us because God has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.
6 When we were utterly helpless, with no way of escape, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners who had no use for him. 7 Even if we were good, we really wouldn’t expect anyone to die for us, though, of course, that might be barely possible. 8 But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. 9 And since by his blood he did all this for us as sinners, how much more will he do for us now that he has declared us not guilty? Now he will save us from all of God’s wrath to come. 10 And since, when we were his enemies, we were brought back to God by the death of his Son, what blessings he must have for us now that we are his friends and he is living within us!
11 Now we rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God—all because of what our Lord Jesus Christ has done in dying for our sins—making us friends of God.
This begs the question, “What are we supposed to do when life seems unbearable?”
Well, as Paul lays out in Romans, chapter 5, the trials and suffering that we endure actually has great payoffs that we can take comfort in and even rejoice about! But what about situations like the Oklahoma tornado?
You see, my favorite verses have always been Romans 5:3-5 because as we look at tough times in our life, we can view them as opportunities to teach us patience and that patience builds up our character, which helps us to trust in God.
Likewise, Romans chapter 8 tells us that nothing at all can separate us from God’s will.
But, the truth is that when anyone is going through tough times, merely rattling off Bible verses probably won’t make them feel any better. I mean, they may be able to see the truth in it and the eternal perspective of their situation, but it doesn’t often make all the pain and trial go away by simply reciting the words.
So, the next time you find yourself going through life’s toughest trials, bring these verses back and allow them to be personal to you. Don’t just read them as you always have – third person to “someone else out there”, but allow the words to speak slowly and personally to you.
Remember this, too: 2 Timothy 3:16-17 say this:
16 The whole Bible[b] was given to us by inspiration from God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives; it straightens us out and helps us do what is right. 17 It is God’s way of making us well prepared at every point, fully equipped to do good to everyone.
Therefore, the Bible was breathed out through the men who wrote it. Now, if you believe that the Bible is true, inerrant and infallible, how much more powerful are the verses in Romans? That, no matter how bad things are, your situations will build you up – not just as a Christian, but as a person.
Who among us would not want to have better character?
Realize that whenever you go through hard times, whether it be a loss of a job, a broken relationship, financial hardships, regardless of what it may be, you can be certain that if you walk through it patiently and faithfully, when all is said and done, your character (who you are when no one is watching) will be greatly improved!
It sounds cliché, but it’s true.
You see, God is alive, moving and intimately involved in the lives of believers all around the world.
Now, sometimes, we may not be able to understand what the purpose is of the suffering that we endure this side of heaven. But the truth is that there is a purpose and in God’s eternal perspective, there is hope for even the worst of situations to be used for His glory; and the situations – even the worst of them – can fall right in place for God’s master plan of drawing people closer to Him!
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