Her Scripture reading came from Romans 5:1-11: “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. More than that, 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. For while we were still weak, at just the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person-though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die – but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved to him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice to God through our Lord Jesus Christ through whom we have now received reconciliation.”
What a passage of Scripture this is! Throughout this section, there are words of encouragement to be found in a day and age when encouragement is in scarce supply. Consider some of these points that the Apostle Paul makes. First, we have peace with God through Jesus Christ our Lord. While there may be war in this world or conflict between our neighbors, we can live in and experience complete peace with God. Our broken relationship with Him has been mended and made new again. Secondly, we not only experience peace, but our relationship with Christ has given us access to God. We can go to Him day and night with all our requests, needs, hurts and praise. No longer is there is barrier or chasm that separates us.
Another blessing of our relationship with Christ is found in the ability to face suffering. We now have hope. While our trials are not necessarily pleasant, we know that God will use what the enemy means for evil and He will use it to build endurance in our lives. This endurance will, in turn, produce character which leads to hope. It is a winning situation. Without Christ, our trials did not produce hope. In fact, they often led to despair. Now, however, the reverse is true. How great and mighty our God is!
A fourth aspect of this passage of God’s Word deals with the Holy Spirit which is given to every believer at the time they accept Jesus Christ as Savior. Having the Spirit live within us brings about change. We are filled with God’s love and able to see things from His perspective where we could not before. The Holy Spirit guides, teaches, comforts and leads us to know our heavenly Father and understand His Word. There is no one like Him and God has placed Him in our hearts!
For me, verse 6 really jumped out. It reads: “For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.” I take comfort in these words which point to the perfection of God’s timing. Christ came at just the right time! God is Sovereign and has a plan both in terms of salvation and specifically a plan to use our lives to His glory. Isn’t that exciting? It is to me! We do not need to give up if something doesn’t come to pass according to our timetable. It will be done if the Lord wants it to be completed. So, we can rest in that and trust in Him.
A final blessing comes in the knowledge that we are reconciled with God. We were separated from our Creator by sin in our life but through the death of His Son Jesus Christ, we are now reconciled to God. This healing of relationship also leads to more stable relationships with those around us. When we can love like God does, we can build healthy friendships, marriages and parenting skills. This is where it all begins…with that reconciliation.
When I listened to this passage read, it really was an “Ah Ha” moment for me. It really summarizes all that God has done for us and should give us encouragement each day. Ponder this passage and meditate on it. I guarantee that it will bring you an “A Ha” moment as well. Selah!
PS To all my readers, my husband and I will be shortly heading off for our 40th wedding anniversary on a wonderful trip abroad. I am planning to take my trusty IPAD so I can post on my blog and send photos from the places we travel. This is a very special celebration for us. Hard to believe it has been 40 years! So...bear with me....for the next few weeks, my format will be a little different than usual. However, I hope you enjoy looking through my eyes at the things we will discover.
I welcome your thoughts and insights here. Please feel free to leave a comment.