Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the historic one-year lectionary.
It has happened many times, but I recall one time in particular when an elderly lady pressed me for an answer to a problem which was bothering her. In essence, her question was how I managed to be confident in my faith in Christ while she faced turmoil and doubt. Our reading from Romans 5 speaks to this issue. We are told that we have peace with God because we have been justified by faith. Knowing that Jesus has delivered us from sin and separation from God, we can stand before God and before the whole world in confidence. Our security comes from the completed work of Jesus, who lived a perfect life, died on our behalf, and rose as the victor over death. This is a security that nothing can overturn.
Rather than asking how the Christian can be secure and confident, it may be better to ask how the Christian can be lacking in security. After all, God has made his promises, which will not fail.
Our doubts do come to the surface, though, especially when we endure suffering. After all, it hurts! We don’t want to deal with suffering, disappointment, loss, and illness. What confidence can we find in the midst of those trials?
The apostle gives us great hope, though it doesn’t bypass suffering. Suffering leads to endurance. Endurance leads to character. Character leads to hope. Hope does not disappoint. But, sadly enough, there seems to be only one way to get to an enduring hope, and that is through suffering, endurance, and character. We never want to endure suffering. Building endurance is hard work. Character doesn’t appear overnight. But it is all part of the path. The Lord protects His people as they grow to maturity in Him. It isn’t easy. But it is still a matter of God’s promise.
We stand in the promises of God. He will never let us down.
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