Scripture

Romans 5:1-5

1 Therefore, 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 glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

Reflection

Today, we return to the first five verses of the fifth chapter of Romans. Yesterday, we focused primarily on the first two verses of this passage and emphasized the restoration and peace that is now available to all through Jesus Christ. I hope over the course of the last 24 hours you have intentionally expressed your gratitude to God for these gifts. I also hope you have felt encouraged to think about how God might be calling you to express that same grace in a relationship that might be in need of restoration right now.

Today, focus with me on verse 3-5, and the phrase Paul uses here saying, “we also glory in our sufferings…

Does that phrase sound curious to you in any way?
Does it perhaps seem strange to think about the connection between glory and sufferings?

Whenever two words that may not seem to go together show up in my scripture reading, I often look to additional English translations to see how they may render the original Greek differently.

Here are a few examples of that for Romans 5:3.

Other translations use words like, boastcelebraterejoice, or in the instance of another translation, here is how verses 3 and 4 read.

We even take pride in our problems, because we know that trouble produces endurance, endurance produces character, and character produces hope.

Hear this next part carefully. Romans 8:28 says, “ And we know that in all things God works for the good…” It does not say, “God creates bad things in our life in order to do good things in our life.” That is an important distinction.

But, with that being said, consider the reason why Paul would see value in “boasting, celebrating, rejoicing, taking pride” in the difficult circumstances and sufferings we have experienced. Suffering does produce perseverance and perseverance does cultivate character and the integrity of our character forms our understanding of hope.

And so today, as you continue working on the list of things you are grateful for, I want to encourage you to take a moment to think about the challenges you have experienced in your life in a way that you may not have ever done before. Are there situations and/or seasons in your life that were exceedingly difficult but in

hindsight you might say, “I am thankful for it because…”

And how might you finish that sentence?
In what ways did God continue to work for good even in that great difficulty you experienced in your past?

 
Take some time today to add to your list some of those things that you may have never considered before to be worthy of celebrating. Express to God your thanks for fulfilling in your life God’s promise to never leave you and never forsake you.

Prayer

Continue praying today through Psalm 103 as your opening prayer for the day. Read it slowly and out loud as you allow the richness of the message to find its way into your heart and life today.

Psalm 103

1 Praise the Lord, my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
2 Praise the Lord, my soul,
and forget not all his benefits—
3 who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
5 who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
6 The Lord works righteousness
and justice for all the oppressed.
7 He made known his ways to Moses,
his deeds to the people of Israel:
8 The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
9 He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbor his anger forever;
10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
13 As a father has compassion on his children,
so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;
14 for he knows how we are formed,
he remembers that we are dust.
15 The life of mortals is like grass,
they flourish like a flower of the field;
16 the wind blows over it and it is gone,
and its place remembers it no more.
17 But from everlasting to everlasting
the Lord’s love is with those who fear him,
and his righteousness with their children’s children—
18 with those who keep his covenant
and remember to obey his precepts.
19 The Lord has established his throne in heaven,
and his kingdom rules over all.
20 Praise the Lord, you his angels,
you mighty ones who do his bidding,
who obey his word.
21 Praise the Lord, all his heavenly hosts,
you his servants who do his will.
22 Praise the Lord, all his works
everywhere in his dominion.
Praise the Lord, my soul.