February 2, 2018

Romans 5:2–5 (NLT) — 2 Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory. 3 We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. 4 And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. 5 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.

What caught my attention when I read these verses was the word ‘rejoice’. I figured I knew what it meant but I looked it up in the Greek anyway. I quickly realized that I didn’t know the impact of this word at all. Here is the Greek word and the meaning:

Rejoice > kaucháomai = to boast.

In a good sense of course. Examples: My son made the Dean’s List this semester. The guys on our basketball team really play well together. Our high school band is awesome! My church is so welcoming to new people.

Just like salvation is an underserved privilege granted to us by God through Jesus Christ(verse 2) so are problems and trials. Tough times should elicit the same response from us as our son or daughter making the Dean’s List. Why? Because God is giving us this undeserved privilege of developing our endurance, strengthening our character so that we never lose our confidence in the fact that he loves us and that he has filled us with his Holy Spirit.

What an underserved privilege to be loved by God. What an undeserved privilege to have his Holy Spirit, the same Holy Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead, the same Holy Spirit who anointed Jesus so that he could go about doing good and healing all those who were oppressed by the devil, that same Holy Spirit who inspired the writers to pen the scriptures for us, that same Holy Spirit that comes upon us with power, that same Holy Spirit who drew us to Jesus in the first place, living in us!

Paul is saying, “When you stop and think about how good these problems and trials are for you, Rejoice! Boast about how loving God is to let you go through these times and how kind he is to have filled you with His Holy Spirit.

If I don’t see these times as moments to boast about but instead have a negative attitude I won’t develop endurance. I won’t have strength of character. I won’t be that confident in my salvation > because I will think God must not love me because of the trouble I have. I won’t experience the power of God working through me. I won’t have much of a testimony of the grace of God working mightily in me. I won’t impact the world around me for Jesus. I’ll be comfortable but great things are never accomplished in a comfort zone.

We serve a great God. Let’s be great for Him.

Acts 5:40–42 (NLT) — 40 The others accepted his advice. They called in the apostles and had them flogged. Then they ordered them never again to speak in the name of Jesus, and they let them go. 41 The apostles left the high council rejoicing that God had counted them worthy to suffer disgrace for the name of Jesus. 42 And every day, in the Temple and from house to house, they continued to teach and preach this message: “Jesus is the Messiah.”

Be Inspired Hilltop!

Comments

  1. Mary Anne Frank says:

    In the first chapter of Job…Job worshiped God after learning that all he had had been taken away from him. Even in his grief, he said “Praise the name of the Lord!”
    I thank God that He gave me the Holy Spirit that can help me to praise God even in my trials. It is sometimes so hard!