Romans 5:1-5 – “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; 4 and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; 5 and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” NASU
I love the beginning of this chapter. Paul highlights the foundational truth that we are Justified by Faith. He then reminds us that because of that reality we have Peace with God through Jesus Christ. His work of Grace ushers us into the presence of the Father and in that relationship, we have a Peace that the world is unable to supply and incapable of taking from us. It is the Peace of God and Isaiah referred to it as Perfect Peace.
Paul reminds us that we were introduced into the Grace of God, through faith and the finished work of Jesus Christ. In that condition and position, we rise to a place of exultation in which we experience extreme joy and happiness. This is sheer ecstasy in the realm of the Spirit. It is jubilation that is as the Bible describes it, “Joy unspeakable and full of glory.” It could be described as walking on air, jumping for joy, or being on cloud nine.
Then he adds, “And not this only…” As if that was not enough we discover there is more but, in this condition, state, relationship, and peace we can ‘exult in our tribulations.’ Doesn’t that sound a little like what James said in his writings? He tells us to ‘count it all joy when we fall into different kinds of temptation.’ That makes no sense to the natural man, but the Spiritual man recognizes that in every trial there is an opportunity for God to demonstrate His Incredible Agape Love and Grace.
Paul gives us an insight into trials that most reject or do not wish to discuss. He did not advance a doctrine that we are to seek for, look for, or hope for difficulties, but that when they come, and they will, we can ‘exult’ in them. Why? Because we know that through the tribulation or trial we learn perseverance. We learn to ‘having done all to stand and keep on standing’. We learn to ‘never quit.’ He then reminds us the perseverance produces proven character. I have said for a long time that I do not want to go to war with anyone without a limp. I want them to be proven and tested. I want to know they will stand with me to the end. God wants that from us and for us. When we know that we will stand and resolve to stand, the anointing of the Holy Spirit becomes even more powerful in our lives.
He continues that proven character produces Hope! What is biblical hope? It, I would argue, is elevated faith. Remember Hebrews reminds us that Abraham held on to his hope and “in hope against hope believed.” Hoping to the patriarchs in the Bible was not wishful thinking it was rock solid. It was assurance and confidence in the unshakable and infallible promises and character of God. They lived in the Hope of the Resurrection and in the Hope of the promises of Covenant.
Paul reminds us that this kind of Hope does not disappoint. Why? Because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit. That is one of the ministries of the Comforter. He brings us into the presence of the Father and pours the love of God in our hearts so that we are filled with His fullness.
Therefore, when you face trials rather than lamenting and complaining realize that in this difficulty there is Hope and, in our Perseverance, we grow stronger and more confident in God. In that confidence, we can pull down strongholds and withstand the fiery darts of the wicked one. We are able, as David, to “serve the purposes of God in our generation.” That should be the inscription on each of our headstones when we depart this life.
I want you to take courage and know that you are not forsaken, and God has not unleashed the devil to torment you, but if trials come, in your hope and confidence you can develop perseverance, proven character, and hope as you bask in His love, grace, peace, and power.
God bless you as you enjoy this wonderful day in Him!