The Good Stuff

Romans 5:1-5(NIV):
1Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

I heard a sermon this past Sunday on this text from Romans chapter 5. Our pastor referred to this text from Romans as “The Good Stuff.” He went on to define, “The Good Stuff,” as “being justified by faith, having peace with God, grace, hope, and glory!” The text from Romans reveals to us that we find peace with God through our Lord Christ Jesus, when we place our faith in him. Our faith in Christ gives us an inner peace that we can reflect in an outward way in this world that we live in.

In verse 3, the Apostle Paul makes it abundantly clear, that as a follower of Christ, you will face many troubles, sufferings, and hardships. Those who preach the prosperity gospel completely miss this important truth of the Bible. If you are a follower of Christ, and you are living out your calling to be the light of Christ in the midst of a sinful and fallen world, you will experience suffering and rejection. Satan, will come after you in full force to interrupt or prevent your ministry for Christ. The Apostle Paul experienced this first hand as he said, “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed” (2 Corinthians 4:8-9).

As Christians, we should be encouraged when we experience sufferings, troubles, and hardships. Those defining moments let us know that we are living out the life of faith that we are called into by Christ. So hang in there and continue on in your walk of faith knowing that you are on the right path. Satan is worried about what believers are doing in the world and he is doing everything in his power to silence our ministry for Christ. If you are a Christian, and you are not experiencing any of these things, then you need to ask yourself why Satan isn’t concerned about you. Have you become so comfortable with the world and the way that it operates, that you no longer “take up your cross daily” (Luke 9:23) and follow Christ? Are you a citizen of this world or a citizen of heaven? A citizen of heaven is someone who is just passing through this world but also called to change this world by bringing others to faith in Christ.

The text from Romans encourages us by telling us to rejoice in our sufferings. “We rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom we has given us” (Romans 5:2-5). The Holy Spirit lives within every believer, helping us to grow in our faith and to overcome and endure the many troubles that this world sends our way. The Holy Spirit helps us to emerge stronger and with a character that produces hope.

Our pastor said, “THIS kind of hope will NEVER disappoint. Why? Because, Christian hope is not some empty illusion. It is founded on the love of God and is given by the One who our Father gave us to walk along beside us – the very Holy Spirit of God. So no matter how dark or how bad things may seem, have hope! God is not finished!”

I pray that you find this “hope” in your daily walk with God. Remember that God loves you so much that he “poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” May the power of the Spirit be with you in the midst of your sufferings and troubles. And remember to give thanks to God and to rejoice in your sufferings, for then you are truly a child of God and a follower of Christ. “And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.”

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