This week, I’d like to share with you some verses from Romans, at the end of chapter 4 and on into the beginning of chapter 5 from the paraphrase called The Message. One of my prayers for this year is to have new eyes. Looking at these powerful verses through a different pair of lenses has given me a fresh take on the truth they express. My prayer is that they will bless you, too.
Abraham didn't tiptoe around God's promise asking cautiously skeptical questions. He plunged into the promise and came up strong…sure that God would make good on what he had said. That's why it is said, "Abraham was declared fit before God by trusting God to set him right." But it's not just Abraham; it's also us! The same thing gets said about us when we embrace and believe the One who brought Jesus to life when the conditions were equally hopeless. The sacrificed Jesus made us fit for God, set us right with God.
By entering through faith into what God has always wanted to do for us—set us right with him, make us fit for him—we have it all together with God because of our Master Jesus. And that's not all: We throw open our doors to God and discover at the same moment that he has already thrown open his door to us. We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand—out in the wide open spaces of God's grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise.
There's more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we're hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we're never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary—we can't round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!
There’s a victory being described here that is definitely beyond where I am living currently, but I certainly hope it is where I am headed.
Abba, please help us stand in Your amazing grace, instead of being willing to crawl through our days under the burden of condemnation, hopelessness and frustration. Please fill us again with your Holy Spirit, so we can know Your love in all it’s fullness. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.