7 Promises – I Have Hope
In this passage, the following words stood out to me:
Justified: declared or made righteous in the sight of God
When I teach my students about Martin Luther, I like to emphasize the phrase “justified by faith alone.” Although this may not have been a brand new concept, it was one of the big ones that got Martin Luther in trouble with the Catholic Church at the time. Now I am not going to go into a big history lesson here about the Protestant Reformation (unless you all would like me to? It’s honestly one of my favorite things to teach about!) but I would like to talk about how powerful this idea was/is.
In his book on Christian Living, Dr. Charles Stanley explains the meaning of justification, as used in Romans 5:1. He explains, “The Greek verb tense used in this verse means a once-and for-all transaction. We have been justified – that is, declared not guilty once and for all. The word justify is not only a theological term, but it is a judicial or legal term as well. As far back as the book of Genesis, the question was asked, “Shall not the Judge of the earth deal justly?” (Gen. 18:25 NASB). If we accept the Lord Jesus Christ who died in our place, we are justified, at peace, spared from the penalty.” (Charles Stanley’s Handbook for Christian Living, p. 196. © 1996 by Charles Stanley) (christianity.com)
Meaning, if we believe or have faith in God and Jesus Christ, we will have our sins forgiven once and for all. Because we are justified by faith, we can have hope for an eternity with our God in heaven.
Peace: freedom from disturbance; tranquility
I think peace and hope fit very well together. Because we have hope in God, we can be free from the disturbances in our life. We can live tranquilly. Just thinking about that makes a rush of calm flow over me.
Endurance: the fact or power of enduring an unpleasant or difficult process or situation without giving way
I want to write Romans 5: 3-4 a piece of paper and carry it everywhere I go. What a fantastic reminder that we should look at our suffering as an opportunity to build character. In our lives, we will have to endure a multitude of different situations. But one thing we must remember, it is all part of God’s process. Recently my school suffered a great tragedy… I went home and discussed with my husband how I can best deal with this situation. He reminded me that, even though we may not know God’s plan, He has one. The pain and suffering of our community is enduring will help us build the character of our town. I hope to help my students endure this difficult process the best I can.
Character: the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual
When I first looked up the definition, I found myself searching for a better one. I originally was looking for a positive outlook on character. Good morals, classy, stand-up citizen, ect. But when I stopped looking for what I wanted and started looking at the definition given to me, I realized something. (side note, isn’t this what happens all the time with God’s plan? As soon as we stop trying to find what we are looking for, God’s plan will reveal itself and it is always so much better)
When we endure difficult times, it does build character, but that character isn’t always good. When we endure, we develop our own distinctive characters. Sometimes this can produce healthy habits, rational thoughts, and good morals, but other times it can produce bad habits, irrational outbursts, or depravity. How we handle tough situations has long-lasting effects. I think it is important for us to remember this.
Endurance Produces Character
This phrase encompasses how we can use our current theme, Hope, the best. When life gives us difficult situations, how do we endure them? Do we hide in vices to hope the suffering goes away? Do we run to other relationships instead of to God? Or do we use the hope God has promised us to survive? Remember, how we chose to endure our sufferings will produce our life long character.