A Reason to Hope

Today’s Reading: Romans 3:27-5:5

Can we boast, then, that we have done anything to be accepted by God? No, because our acquittal is not based on obeying the law. It is based on faith. So we are MADE RIGHT WITH GOD through faith and not by obeying the law. – Romans 3:27-28

It is by placing my faith in Jesus that I am made right with God – not faith in myself, not by obeying all the rules. It is by believing in HIM that I am made right with God. Paul used Abraham as an example to the Roman believers of how faith is what makes us right with God.

Abraham was, humanly speaking, the founder of our Jewish nation. What did he discover about being made right with God? If his good deeds had made him acceptable to God, he would have had something to boast about. But that was not God’s way. For the Scriptures tell us, “Abraham believed God and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.” – Romans 4:1-3

It is so easy for us to have the mentality that we have to earn our salvation. We grow up working around the house to earn our allowance. Parents reward their children for good behavior and good grades. We obtain jobs and work hard to meet the expectation of our employers in order to earn our paycheck. We treat others as we would want to be treated and, in doing so, earn their respect. We play games or sports in order to earn points so that we can win or be rewarded with a prize or title.

The problem begins when we take this mindset into our relationship with God and assume that our good behavior is going to be rewarded by Him – that eternal life is our reward rather than a gift from God. We begin to think, “Well, I’m a good person so I’ll make it to heaven.” Abraham was a good person but it was his strong faith in God that led him to be the father of many nations.

Even when there was no reason for hope, Abraham kept hoping – believing that he would become the father of many nations. For God had said to him, “That’s how many descendants you will have!” And Abraham’s faith did not weaken, even though, at about 100 years of age, he figured his body was as good as dead – and so was Sarah’s womb.

Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. He was fully convinced that GOD IS ABLE TO DO WHATEVER HE PROMISES. And because of Abraham’s faith, God counted him as righteous. And when God counted him as righteous, it wasn’t just for Abraham’s benefit. It was recorded for our benefit, too, assuring us that God will also count us as righteous if we believe in him, the one who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. He was handed over to die because of our sins, and he was raised to life to MAKE US RIGHT with God. – Romans 4:18-25

Even when there was no reason to hope
Abraham never wavered in believing God’ promise…
His faith grew stronger…
He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever He promises!

What are you going through right now that needs that kind of faith? Does your relationship with God need that kind of faith to survive your current circumstances?

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. 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.

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our CONFIDENT HOPE of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with His love. – Romans 5:1-5

Bad things can still happen to good people. I can do everything right and live a good life and tragedy can still strike. If I live a good works religion and count on my own righteousness for my salvation, I will fall apart when bad times come. If I build my relationship with God on the foundation of faith, I can trust in Him through any situation. I can have A REASON TO HOPE, not wavering in my faith but growing stronger – fully convinced that God is able to do whatever He has promised!