Thursday, June 23, 2016

Such hope

Through Him also we have [our] access (entrance, introduction) by faith into this grace (state of God's favour) in which we [firmly and safely] stand. And let us rejoice and exult in our hope of experiencing and enjoying the glory of God. Romans 5:2 AMP

Through Jesus Christ we have access to God's favour. Here is how The Message version says it,

And that's not all: We throw open our doors to God and discover at the same moment that he has already thrown open his door to us. We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand - out in the wide open spaces of God's grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise. Romans 5:2 The Message

Can you picture yourself doing that this morning - out in the wide open spaces of God's grace and glory, standing tall and shouting your praise? What does God's grace and glory look like to you? Are there areas in your life that you having difficulty seeing God's grace in? If so, ask Him to show you His grace. It is there.

Moreover [let us also be full of joy now!] let us exult and triumph in our troubles and rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that pressure and affliction and hardship produce patient and unswerving endurance. Romans 5:3 AMP

This is where that phrase 'count it all joy'  comes to mind. I remember a few years ago, when we were experiencing pressure, affliction and hardship simultaneously, I would get in the shower and say to myself, 'count it all joy Wendy'. Over and over again I would repeat it to myself. The children would be arguing in the midst of the turmoil, and again I would say to myself, 'count it all joy Wendy'. It would be good to be able to say that I was able to 'count it all joy' but that is not the truth. Even today, as I reflect on some of the those times, the tears still come. But amid the tears there is praise on my lips.

There's more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we're hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. Romans 5:3-4 The Message

Passionate patience - or as the Amplified version calls it - maturity of character.

And endurance (fortitude) develops maturity of character (approved faith and tried integrity). And character [of this sort] produces [the habit of] joyful and confident hope of eternal salvation. Romans 5:4 AMP

Approved faith and tried integrity - unfortunately (but really fortunately) only comes through those times of having God as the only option. The times when were is no way, other than turning to Him and trusting that He will come through for you. Trusting and hoping that He has a plan and it is good.

Such hope never disappoints or deludes or shames us, for God's love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit Who has been given to us. Romans 5:5 AMP

Do you really believe this verse? That hope in Jesus will never disappoint? That hope in Jesus will never delude us? That hope in Jesus will never shame us? I could suggest that you, ask God to help you come to a place where you can believe this, but I have a sense that that could involve unwittingly inviting one of those seasons of pressure, affliction and hardship into your life, so I will leave that up to a conversation between you and God. 

But if that season does come, these scriptures, Romans 5:2-5 are definitely good to have on your lips and in your heart.

In alert expectancy such as this, we're never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary - we can't round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit! Romans 5:5 The Message

If you are in one of those challenging seasons now, can you close your eyes and see that for your life - you trying to round up enough containers to hold everything that God wants to give you, not even a stadium full of containers is enough - His love and favour for you is endless. He alone is our hope.

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