Wednesday, March 14, 2007


Romans 5:1-11

Have you ever been in a situation where difficult circumstances have led you to doubt God’s love for you? “If God were so great,” you say, “He surely wouldn’t have let that happened to me”. Perhaps you have even tried to counsel a friend who has felt that way. For me, it has always been easier to look heavenward and have nothing but praise spilling out of my ears whenever something good happens. Yet I cannot say the same happens to me when I face difficult times. More often than not I’m on my knees begging for God to take away the pain than I am rejoicing. My tiny brain cannot fathom how I ought to smile when I’m in pain – in fact, even the thought is absurd!

Well, if that’s being absurd then I guess that by our standards, God was “absurd” first! Verses 6 to 8 tell us that even while we were powerless to save ourselves, sinners and enemies of God; God let Christ die on the cross for us. This act of dying on the cross justifies us in the sight of God (verse 9) and enables us to be reconciled to God and have peace with God (verse 1; 10). Paul also lists two primary reasons why we should rejoice in this peace – firstly, because we enjoy a new relationship with God through Christ (verse 1-2a) and secondly, because at the end of the day we also share the hope of the glory of God when Christ comes again (verse 2b).

Returning to the concept of ‘rejoicing in suffering’ (or as I like to put it, ‘smiling in pain’), reflect on the reasons why we should rejoice – we do not rejoice merely because God made your bus come on time today; or because God helped you pass that exam that you did no study for. We cannot base being ‘joyful in Lord’ on the condition that God does a host of things for us. If we take rejoicing to be a feeling we get when things go our way, then we misunderstand the extent God went through to prove His love for us.

Read the passage again and recall this ‘absurd’ demonstration of love God has shown us; then, prayerfully rethink how we ought to ‘rejoice in our sufferings’ in light of what we have read today.

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