Listen to this daily worship
Romans 5: 1-5 (NRSVA)
1 Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. 3 And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.
Paul is, amongst many other things, a realist.
Although God's people are destined for righteousness, though they are justified by faith, a life free of suffering is not guaranteed. Rather, in the midst of suffering we can be comforted and sustained by hope in the peace of God.
When the state of the world makes it harder and harder to find good news amongst so much bad, we must ask ourselves this interesting, yet vital question: What gives us hope today?
For Paul’s initial audience, suffering was the rule rather than the exception, and to them he says that we will become, but for now we must overcome. As a result of the difficulties we experience just now, we will grow as God’s people.
Vaclav Havel, a former president of Czechoslovakia and the Czech Republic, who was frequently imprisoned as he fought against the effects of Communism, once said:
“Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism. It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.”
Many try to find the hope in every circumstance, however dire. May we also trust that when all is said and done that we stand to receive the gift of being reconciled to God.
And what a life giving and life enhancing gift that is…
At times you can be a mystery,
and yet you are always generous and patient.
Although we may struggle to understand
the fact that you love us unconditionally,
we are so thankful and glad that you do…
Help us to appreciate all you have done for us
and all you continue to do.
Help us to remain your faithful servants.
Help us in the times we struggle,
guiding us each step of the way.
So be it. Amen.