Romans 5:1-5 (NASB): 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.
We all face disappointments in life. So often, we pray to God and our prayers are not answered in the way that we desire. When that is the case, we must trust God and realize that His ways and His purposes are higher than ours. We have very limited vision, but God sees the entire picture and we must trust Him, even when it hurts. As believers that have been “justified by faith,” we can have a certain “peace” with God that lifts us up as we go through times of unanswered prayer or in the various trials of life.
Paul wants us to understand here in Romans chapter 5, that in all circumstances, our “hope” is found in the glory of God. Through our faith in Christ, God has given us His peace that will help us to navigate anything that life in this world sends our way. It’s easy to rejoice when things are going well, but it’s much more difficult to rejoice when we are faced with trials and suffering. God’s desire is that we acknowledge Him and praise Him in the midst of our difficulties, as well as those times in life when everything is going smoothly.
We would usually prefer to not go through any trials in life, we like for everything to go as planned. And the Apostle Paul, who is very familiar with trials, exhorts us to rejoice in the midst of our trials. Now that is the kind of advice that most of us would prefer to politely decline. Rejoice in our trials? Really? When I am going through times such as these, I would much prefer to sulk and to blame God and to question Him. And after a day or so, after God has allowed me to wallow in my misery, God says, “Trust me, I am going to teach you how to persevere through this trying time.”
You see, when we go through difficult circumstances, we learn how to persevere. And Paul writes that, perseverance improves and strengthens our character, and that will in turn point us to the “hope” of God in our lives. And as we trust God to lead us through the dark passages of life, we begin to sense and experience God’s hope and love. Paul tells us that “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.” So we must persevere and rely on our “hope” in God, who promises to never leave us or forsake us (Deut. 31:6).
May God fill you today with His hope, His love, and His eternal peace!