READ: Romans 5:1-11
- Paul explains an important connection following this difficult section on tribulations. He connects the next thought with “for” or “because.” At first the connection may not make much sense. There seems to be little relationship between our “rejoicing in suffering” and our “being loved by God.” However, it’s important to note that God was loved us long before we loved Him. In fact, we were sinners, enemies of God. Yet He sent His Son.
- Tribulations seem overwhelming, unwelcome, and anything but good. They almost feel like punishment for a life lived poorly before God. But note, God doesn’t punish through tribulation, He loves through the tremendous sacrifice of His Son. He goes through His own tribulation so that we won’t have to face His wrath. Without the blood of Jesus, we are lost and face doom. God doesn’t let that happen. He intervenes and sends His Son.
- Far from God being angry and vengeful because of our sinfulness, our enemy status, He loves and sacrifices and forgives and reconciles. Instead of doing something comparatively mundane like remove our tribulations/afflictions, He suffers for us and gives us hope for living in relationship with Him now and then into eternity. For that reason, believers recognize the power of tribulation to form us into the kind and loving imitators of God that we can be.
- How does it feel to know that God loves you instead of rejects you as an enemy?
- How do your tribulations compare to God’s suffering through the death of His Son?
- Acknowledge that God’s presence with you is greater than the absence of tribulation.
PRAY: Pray that you can actually realize the truth that God is more important than your circumstances. Thank God that He loves in the midst of your circumstances. Thank God for loving you when you were still an enemy of His.