1 Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. 2 Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.
3 We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. 4 And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. 5 And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.
6 When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. 7 Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. 8 But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. 9 And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation. 10 For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son. 11 So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.
Paul, the author of Romans, understood it wasn’t a matter of ‘if’ one will run into problems and trials, but ‘when’ (v. 3). What Paul was concerned about was the heart of his readers and their perspective on the trials they encounter. It’s as if Paul understood our tendency to lose perspective. In the midst of the struggle, we find ourselves at a fork in the road. One turn leads down a trail towards bitterness, anger, cynicism and resentment.
On the other side is a trail that at first appears rocky and difficult to navigate. It requires you to trust that these trials were not random or meant to punish you, but were funneled through the lens of a loving and sovereign God. Everything inside of you fights to believe that God is in control of it all. But, Paul reminds us we can have confidence (v.2) in the fact that the one who sent his Son to restore our relationship (v. 9, 10) loves us deeply (v. 5, 8). Since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God (v.1). In the midst of any chaos we face, we can trust God is not only in control, but has a plan and purpose for our circumstance.
- What circumstance are you struggling to view through the lens of a loving God who is in control of it all?
- If someone were to ask you ‘why do bad things happen to good people,’ how would you answer their question? How have you personally wrestled with this question in the theological sense as well as your own real life experiences?
- How has God used an unfortunate circumstance or struggle to shape your character?
God, help me to see my struggles and trials through the lens of Your love. Rather than asking ‘why me?’ may I instead seek Your face to see what You are teaching me. May the peace I rest in be in knowing that through Your Son our relationship has been restored. Amen.