I seriously think I could’ve spent hours on these five verses. So much is embedded in such a short passage. Paul pretty much summarizes the Christian life in this one little paragraph. But the gist of it that I got today is this: Faith in Jesus changes you.
First, Jesus justifies you when you place your faith in him. That means you are made right before God, and that is life changing. (And eternity changing.)
Second, Jesus offers us grace, and that is what changes us every single day after he justifies us. How does he use grace to change us? Paul does a great job of explaining it. And it all starts with trials and problems.
When bad or hard things happen, no matter what causes them, we have to get through them somehow. If we try to do it on our own, we quickly get overwhelmed and consumed by all the bad stuff. At least I do. I can’t see past the circumstances I’m walking through, and I can get extremely discouraged.
But, when we go through those hard things with Jesus, he takes over and goes to work. I try to react and handle things the way he would want me to. And when I do, it’s great. But when I don’t, and that happens a lot, grace steps in. Jesus not only forgives me for the mistakes I make, but he uses them to change me and grow me. I can use those grace-covered lessons to find a different reaction or approach that will give me a better result. This constant process of try, fail, reset, try again does two things: it produces endurance in me and it continuously proves God’s faithfulness to me. That combination changes the very nature of who I am and how I approach things. Over time, it produces this incredible hope that I can always go to because I know that I’m covered in God’s love and that Jesus is always walking through the tough times with me.
So, that hard situation you’re going through? That tough relationship you’re stuck in? That battle you’re fighting that no one even knows about? There is joy to be found in it.
Look for Jesus.
Look for the lesson.
Look for the faithfulness God is showing you.
And then find the hope you have in him.
Faith in Jesus changes you. And the trial you’re in is where that starts.
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