Text: Romans 5:1-5
Theme: We should rejoice in the good and the bad because…
Key verses: “…we have peace with God because of what Jesus…has done for us. Because of our faith…we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory. We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love” (v. 1b-5).
What God said to me: Son, you have so many reasons to rejoice today. Because, because, because. In these few verses Paul gives a laundry list of reasons. Focus now, Dwayne, and listen to what I have to say to you through my Word. Stop and listen to your soul right now. Do you have peace with me? You should. Down deep inside of you do you sense I am for you? I am. You should be confident and joyful because you have faith in me. You will share my glory–not because of what you have done but because of the undeserved privilege my Son has brought you into. But notice this: Paul was quick to point out that our joy should not only be due to the glory you have to look forward to. You should also rejoice in “problems and trials” that you will “run into” along your journey. This life wasn’t designed to let you just skate by on easy street. You know yourself, Dwayne, and I know you even more. If you had it easy all the time, you would grow soft and comfortable and forget your blessings and stop being thankful. Trials bring you back to your knees in dependence on me. Like coal is pressed into diamond, the pressures of this life should make you better and form you more into my image. Ultimately you have reason to rejoice because you know I dearly love you. I gave you my Spirit to confirm that love and fill you with love. So, why in the world would you not rejoice?
What I said to God: Father Lord, praise You for the amazing reasons You have given me and all of Your children to rejoice. I’m reminded of the old song: “His Eye Is on the Sparrow, and I know He watches me. Why should I be discouraged? Why should the shadows come? For Jesus is my portion, a constant help is He. His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.” Why should we ever be discouraged? The hope we have in You will never disappoint! Please help me be resolved to be thankful and joyful no matter what my circumstances are today and tomorrow and every day of my future. Why? Because my past, present and future are secure in You! Hallelujah!