Those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength…
25-27 God proves to be good to the man who passionately waits,
to the woman who diligently seeks.
It’s a good thing to quietly hope,
quietly hope for help from God.
It’s a good thing when you’re young
to stick it out through the hard times.
“God cannot give us happiness and peace apart from himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing.”
— C. S. Lewis
In Romans chapter 5, after having proven that justification before God comes ONLY through faith, Paul now reveals the result of that justification, which is peace with God.
What the first Adam lost in the Garden of Eden, the second Adam has restored.
Now any who seek peace with God may have it.
In chapter 5, Paul describes the experience of salvation for all Christians, and he outlines the magnitude of God’s love, which has been revealed in Jesus Christ.
In the first five verses, we are introduced to a section of scripture that contains some difficult concepts.
In order for us to understand what the Holy Spirit is saying in these verses, it helps for us to keep in mind the two-sided reality of the Christian life.
On the one hand, we are complete in Christ, declared righteous and accepted fully by Him.
On the other hand, we are still growing in Christ, becoming more and more like Him everyday.
Even though we are at one with Jesus (are co-heirs with Him – Rom 8:17), and so we have the status of royalty; at the same time we also have the duties of servants (bond-servants).
In our present condition we feel both the presence of Christ and the pressure of sin.
Whereas we enjoy the peace that comes from being made right with God, we still nevertheless find ourselves facing daily problems that help us to grow and mature.
If we will remember these two sides of the Christian life, then we will not grow discouraged as we face the daily temptations and problems of life.
Instead, we will learn to depend on the power available to us from the Holy Spirit, who lives in us and is God’s gift to all who believe.
Our having peace with God does not at all mean that we will not have trials and tribulations.
Having peace with God means that we have now been reconciled with God, through Jesus’ propitious sacrifice on Calvary’s Cross, and it is the trials and tribulations of life, which we all experience, that causes us to grow.
Thanks to Jesus, Satan as the accuser of the brethren, has lost all his leverage.
We no longer have any hostility standing between us and God, and there is no longer any sin blocking our relationship with Him.
Peace with God is possible ONLY because Jesus paid the price for our sins through His death on the cross.
Even in great tragedies, we can have God’s peace because of our confident hope in His promises (Philippians 4:7).
As Paul states clearly in 1 Corinthians 13:13, faith, hope, and love are at the heart of the Christian life.
Your relationship with God begins with faith, which helps you realize that you are delivered from your past by Jesus’ death and resurrection.
Hope grows as you learn all that God has in mind for you; it gives you the promise of the future.
God’s love fills your life and gives you the ability to reach out and love others.
In verse 2 Paul states that, as believers, we now stand in a place of undeserved privilege.
Not only has God declared us not guilty, but He has also drawn us close to Himself.
Instead of being His enemies, we have become His friends—in fact, His own children (John 15:15; Galatians 4:5).
For first-century Christians, suffering was the rule rather than the exception.
Paul explains that in the future we will become, but until then we must overcome.
This means that, for now, we will experience difficulties that help us grow.
We rejoice in suffering, not because we like pain or deny its tragedy, but because we know God is using life’s difficulties and Satan’s attacks to build our character.
And “Through it all we learned to trust in Jesus”…
It’s through the problems that we encounter that will develop our perseverance—which, in turn, will strengthen our character, deepen our trust in God, and give us greater confidence about the future.
We all find that our patience is being tested in some way every day.
Instead of worrying and fretting, let us thank God for these opportunities to grow, as we learn to deal with the problems and tribulations of life in His strength (also see James 1:2-4; 1 Peter 1:6-7).
Let us give thanks everyday, in the knowledge that God has sent the Holy Spirit to fill and refill our lives with His love every day (because we are such leaky vessels), and the Holy Spirit living inside of us enables us to live each day by and in His power (Acts 1:8).
With all this loving care, how can we do less than serve Him completely?
Selah (let us pause and calmly think about these things)
Monday, June 13
The Winning Walk
by Dr Ed Young
HAS GOD FORGOTTEN ME?
Ever felt like God has forgotten you?
Joseph must have. He was far from home, given up for dead by his family, framed for a crime he would rather have died than commit, and left to languish in prison.
He must have wondered when God would ever rescue him.
You see, it’s one thing to believe God knows our circumstances, but it’s another thing entirely to believe steadfastly that He will act on our behalf.
The first involves faith in who He is.
The second requires hope in what He will do.
The apostle Paul said that hope in God is a choice that will not disappoint (Romans 5:3-5).
It is an absolutely reasonable choice no matter what our circumstances because it is based on who He is.
Because God is righteous and holy, His actions will always be an expression of His character.
There is an acronym used in the computer industry that is easy to spell and hard to say: WYSIWYG.
It simply means “what you see is what you get.”
Just so with God. He is not capricious or arbitrary; He is faithful and true.
The turning point in Joseph’s dungeon experience came when he ceased to wait anxiously on the system and began to wait expectantly on God.
His belief that God would act on his behalf was based on Joseph’s experiential knowledge.
He knew that God had spared him from death at the hands of his brothers; that He had placed him in a position of influence in Potiphar’s household; that He had given him dreams as a child…and he trusted that the same care would continue.
It was just a matter of time. The faithfulness in question is not His-it is ours!
Will we wait expectantly and trust Him?
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
Come join the Adventure!