Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. We have also obtained access through Him by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope. This hope will not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
Hope grounded in a promise is faith. Hope that is not grounded is mere wishing.
We have major benefits that come along with our justification. First we have peace with God. In Adam, each of us is born an enemy of God. But through the cross of Christ, that enmity has been changed to peace. Secondly, we not only have peace with God, but we now have access to God. The veil has been torn down, the hostility removed; we have gained access to the throne of grace where we get to bask in the glory of God. Thirdly, we have been given a knowledge that is intended to bring us joy in our afflictions. The knowledge is that God intends all affliction to produce certain Christ-like qualities in us.
Affliction is intended to produce endurance. We need endurance to finish any task, let alone running the race of faith. Endurance then over time produces proven character in us. Proven character is Christ-like character. Lastly, character produces a hope that will not disappoint. For this hope is grounded in the promises of God. We are not just wishing to have peace with God, or to gain entrance into heaven; we are hoping by faith because of certain promises he has given us. These promises are used by the Holy Spirit to indwell us with a heart of love. And best of all…every bit of this comes to us free. It is by grace, which means that we do not deserve it, nor earn it. God has graciously given to us all things in Christ!
- It is a blessing to know that God intends to use all affliction for our benefit. What affliction have you been through lately? Do you see any character that has been produced in you as a result of this trial?