Romans 5:1-5 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. Not only that, but we rejoice in our suffering, knowing that our suffering produces endurance, endurance character, character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame because God’s love has been poured into our hearts…
Romans 5:8-11 but God shows his love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us. Since, therefore we have now been justified by his blood MUCH MORE shall we be saved by 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 that that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
Romans 5:15 But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, MUCH MORE have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many.
Ps 33:4-9 The word of the Lord is upright, and all his work is done in faithfulness. He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the steadfast love of the Lord. By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and by the breath of his mouth all the host… For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm.
Ps 33:18-22 Behold the eye of the Lord is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love… Our soul waits for the Lord; He is our help and our shield. For our heart is glad in him, because we trust his holy name. Let your steadfast love, O Lord be upon us, even as we hope in you.
I think we often read these verses in Romans 5:3-5 “Not only that, but we rejoice in suffering…” as well as those verse in James 1:2-3 “Count it all joy my brothers, when you meet trials of many kinds…” and we tend to roll our eyes and think, “How does God expect me to count this as a joy, or to rejoice in that?” Trials are never easy, and are definitely not enjoyable. But, God’s word is always true! Ps 33:4-9 reminds us that the word of the Lord is always upright… it is always true. All God’s work is done in faithfulness and love.
God’s word and His work represent and display His faithful, loving character. With that word, and that loving character, God created this world for us to live in. In love, with His word, He flung the heavens into space and gave the stars their names (Ps 33:6). In love, he breathed life into every living thing. Psalm 136:5-9 tells us everything He did in creation was because of His steadfast love for us. He created everything we would need and then placed us in a garden that was perfect. In love, he commanded, and his word stood firm (Ps 33:9), showing his faithful, loving, steadfast character. It’s this God who has his eye on you! (Ps 33:18) It’s this God in whom we hope in his steadfast love. He is our help and our shield. Our hearts are glad IN HIM, because we trust in his HOLY NAME (His loving, faithful charcter). (Ps 33:21)
If God loves us that much, then why do we doubt his love and care when things get difficult? I think it’s interesting in Romans 5 that the same love that compels God to allow / plan trials in our life in Rom 5:3-5, also caused God to “demonstrate” that love to us by sending Christ to die for us “while we were still sinners.” (Rom 5:8) Later in Romans Paul says this of God’s love, “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” (Rom 8:32)
Four times in this passage Paul uses the words “much more,” or “more than that..” It’s almost like Paul is trying to help us to see that God’s love is not just a quick Sunday School answer that we give that doesn’t really effect our lives. There is SO MUCH MORE to what Christ has done and given us in His steadfast love for us.
I really like how Major Ian Thomas explains this truth in his book The Indwelling Life of Christ, chapter 16:
It is true that the death of Jesus saves us from the punitive consequence of sin and restores us to a true relationship with God after we were born spiritually dead, alienated from the life of God. Yet the very purpose of that new relationship is to enable us thereafter to “be saved by His life,” and this is the “much more” of our salvation.
If your Christian experience is limited only to being reconciled to God by the death of Christ, yet you are not being saved by the present reality of His Life, then you are obviously missing the “much more” of your salvation.
Reconciled to God by Christ’s death … and saved by His Life—the one is a crisis of the moment; the other is the process of a lifetime and on into eternity… the crisis involves an initial act of faith that accepts Christ for what He did; the process involves an attitude of faith that continues to enjoy all that Christ is. For He not only died for what you have done; He rose again from the dead to take the place of what you are, which He does by His Holy Spirit indwelling you.
When we are living from the perspective of the resurrected life of Christ living in us, we will be able to find joy in trials and rejoice in suffering.
- I am praying for all of us to continue to learn to rejoice in trials with the confidence God is at work to lovingly build your character
- I pray that because there is so much more to God’s love that you all will desire to study it; seek to understand it and that it overwhelm and consume your life
- Thank God that he loved us enough to not just provide us with fire insurance, but has given his resurrected life for victory over sin every day.
- As we see God’s love more, may it compel us to share it with others.