A commentary on Romans 5:1-5.
Our faith in Jesus Christ allows us to have peace with God (Romans 5:1). We must remember that it isn’t our faith that saves us, but the grace of God. Our faith gets us access to God’s grace (Romans 5:2).
Our hope can be increased through the tribulations that we face in our journey upon this earth. Whether our hope increases, decreases, or remains the same depends on the choices that we make in response to our tribulation.
When we tribulation, we should focus on how God expects us to respond. One means of doing this is by praying to God. Another way is to read God’s word, the Bible. These are two ways in which we can seek God’s will for us in a given situation.
When we seek God’s help and wait on his guidance in our time of tribulation, we often develop our ability to persevere. Perseverance is a trait that has to be developed through challenges. This often takes time. Perseverance is the steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success. We can be sure that God will help us in due time (Isaiah 40:31). As we continue to persevere, we impact our character.
Character is the mental moral quality distinctive to an individual. When looking at our character as Christians, we should develop the traits of love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Often as we persevere through our tribulation, we develop one or more of these traits, which are referred to in the Bible as the “fruit of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22&23). As we continue to build character around these traits, our hope should grow.
Our hope tends to guide us in our response to a given situation. If we hope in God through his son, Jesus Christ, then we will respond the way he expects us to respond. If our hope is not in God then we will likely respond with the guidance of whom, or where our hope is placed.
Are you facing tribulation today? If not today, at some point in life you will. How good is your ability to persevere? How would you describe your character? More significantly, how would God describe your character? Who or where do you place your hope? Finally, when we are facing tribulation, we should remember the process, “Tribulation --- Perseverance --- Character --- Hope.”
Stanley T. Crawford