Lenten Reader | Day 17

Peace With God

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we[a] have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

Romans 5:1-5
No one likes conflict. God didn’t create us to be in conflict with others and especially not with Him. Before we became believers, we were in rebellion, choosing not to believe in Christ’s atoning sacrifice. Our sin created a barrier and kept us from having peace with God. In today’s Scripture, Paul states clearly that we are in a new relationship with God based on our justification by faith alone. Because we now believe that Christ is our Savior and chose to take on the punishment for our sins, we can take on the righteousness of Christ and can be at peace with God. We are in a new place! We have moved from being alienated from God to being in communion with Him.

Will God provide for our justification and then leave us as is? Would He love us so much that He would send His Son to the cross and then be done with us? I don’t think so! He continues to shape us into His image, often through trials.

It can be hard to understand the idea that we can glory (or rejoice) in suffering. We don’t rejoice in the suffering itself. But when we think about some of the low points in our lives, we can often see, in hindsight, how He changed us through the experiences. It’s at those low times that God draws us to Him, helps us persevere, helps shape our characters, and reaffirms our hope in His promises. And the bigger the burden or struggle, the more grace He pours out! He gives us strength, teaches us to have empathy, and develops our perspective of Him and others. The more we experience God’s faithfulness, the more we learn to trust in His character and promises, and the better we’re able to reflect Him to others. That’s definitely something to rejoice in!

Jennifer Schmitt