News Flash: God has poured out His love into our hearts; we have the Holy Spirit!
1 My child, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart…
This news flash comes from Romans 5:5, which says, “And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” The fact that He gave us His Spirit is amazing; for Him to pour out His love into our hearts is unimaginable! What is this hope to which he refers? For the answer to that question, we must begin four verses back:
Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. 2 Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory. 3 We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. 4 And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. Romans 5:1-4
So, our hope is in our salvation, which is based on character, which is strengthened by endurance, which comes from problems and trials. I’ll be you didn’t see THAT coming, did you? Rather than complaining about the “unfair” shakes we get in life, we should be rejoicing that God is building endurance and character in us. If we couple this idea with 1 John 4:17, we get a really good picture of God’s goal for us in this life, “This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgement: In this world we are like Jesus.”
God’s goal is for us to be just like Jesus in character. How do we get that way? Through suffering. Jesus suffered, and He’s our Lord and Master. Why would we think that we would be different from Him? Why would we WANT to be different from Him? Jesus said in John 15:20-21, “If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also…They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me.” I can’t help but think of Peter and the other apostles as they left the Sanhedrin (Acts 5:41) “rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name [of Jesus].”
Afraid of being embarrassed? Made fun of? losing a valuable association? When the Holy Spirit prompts us, we MUST SPEAK! I am much more concerned about what He thinks of me than anyone else; how about you?
Abba, give us the courage to speak up when You prompt us. May we have the strength to withstand any onslaught by the enemies of the cross. We pray for them because we know that they are potential brothers and sisters in Christ. All it takes is for You to move in their lives, so that’s what we pray: Move in their lives, O Lord! Thank You. Amen.