I had read these verses many times before, but the first time I remember living them were in the weeks after Kris was first in the hospital. Stacey Thacker texted me Romans 5:3-5, and I honestly grimaced. I looked at this process of suffering to endurance, endurance to character, and character to hope and thought to myself, “What’s so great about hope?” Because if this is how you get hope – through all the pain and hard and enduring – I don’t know if I want it. I didn’t want an arbitrary wish. I wanted something sure.
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. – Romans 5:1-5
This was the starting point of my journey in God’s Word – one that has left an indelible mark on my life. I dug into God’s Word like I never had before and found not only what Hope is, but what Hope nets us. There’s a promise in these passages, and I had a chance to share our story this past week on The MOB Society. This is what God did on our journey through chronic illness. This is how He met us. This is how He grew us in the fertile soil of suffering.
It’s a bonus week because Stacey Thacker and I also dove into this passage on my YouTube channel (TWO videos in ONE week?!). Paul has established that we are all common in our sin, and we are all common in our salvation. This week, he tells us how we are all common in another area, and how God is UNcommon to us. (Click the link below to watch or listen to this week’s video).
Jesus promised us that we would have trouble in this world (John 16:33), but He says “Take heart. I have overcome the world.” That is our hope. THIS hope, unlike the hope the world offers, is a sure and steadfast hope (Hebrews 6:19). It is one that will not disappoint us. Because God, when we were weak, ungodly, sinners and enemies with him, sent His son to die for us. He took our punishment. He defeated death. He gave us access. He gave us grace. He gave us peace. In that hope, we rejoice. I love how Pastor R. Kent Hughes puts it in his book Romans:
“Our rejoicing is not some theological chest-beating, but rather humble confidence of triumph through Jesus Christ.”
Listen to the audio version here:
For this Week:
- Read Romans 6, focusing on Romans 6:15-23
- Gather with some girlfriends and talk about what you read.
- Discover: What three truths did you learn from this passage?
- Discuss: According to v. 19-12, what is the fruit of our sin? How does that compare with the fruit of living under the control of God?
- Share: If we live under God’s forgiveness, what’s wrong with continuing to live in sin? Are their areas of your life you hold back from God? Areas that you have yet to surrender control?
- Memorize Romans 6:22
- Come back next week for Video 6.