April 15 Devotional

Happy hump day! That means today is Wednesday, for those of you who haven’t seen all the same movies as me! It’s called hump day because if you can get over the hump of Wednesday, the rest of the week is downhill, but right now it kind of feels like every day is hump day!
Today we’ll be looking at the first 5 verses of Romans 5:
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.
We first notice that everything following the first verse comes because of the fact that we’ve been saved. This is a continuation of Paul’s argument in Romans 4, where he’s reminding his readers that everything is dependent on faith. That faith means we have been justified (been put in right standing) before God. And what comes with that is peace. Where we were once at enmity with God, and even His enemies, we now have peace and reconciliation. All of this happens through Christ. Apart from Him and His atoning death on the cross, we had no chance of ever making restitution to God. We had no reason to hope for anything! But because of Christ, we now hope with an unending hope no matter the circumstances we find ourselves in. But what is it we hope in? Paul says “the glory of God.” See our hope isn’t in ourselves, isn’t in our circumstances, isn’t even in our faith. No, our hope is in the glory of God. As long as God is glorious (and He has been forever and and always will be), we have a every reason to hope. 
Paul continues with a great chain beginning with rejoicing in our sufferings. One of the pastors I used to listen to said “for Christians, this is as close to hell as they’ll ever get.” See this world is a life of suffering. D.A. Carson says that suffering is guaranteed, all you have to do is live long enough! So we are commanded to rejoice in the midst of our sufferings, because they’re temporary. But that’s just the first link in this chain. Suffering – endurance – character, hope. The end of suffering is the reminder that we can hope in God and His promises. When we stand on the last day, marked by the Holy Spirit, sealed as His children, we will have no shame! We have been forgiven, the blood of the Lamb has paid for our sins! What a great thing to hope for in the midst of suffering!
Today’s song is by one of my favorite bands I’ve listened to since high school and seen live more times than I can keep track of! It’s called ‘Joy Invincible’ and you can listen to it on YOUTUBE or SPOTIFY.
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