Minute Meditations of Hope and Encouragement #85

When we quote verses like Romans 12:12 “rejoice in your hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. ..” we need to remember its original 58AD context where being a Christian could cost you your life. A faith dictated by circumstances is not a true faith. True faith says that despite the current circumstances I trust the outcome to God because ” we know that in everything God works for good with those that love him.” Rom 8:28 This can be a hard saying when you are in the thick of the battle.

When Paul wrote this text the fire of Rome was only 4yrs away and the persecution of Nero 5. Using Old Testament sanctuary language Paul goes on to picture a court room setting when he says, “… what shall we say to this? If God is for us who is against us? He who did not spare his own son but gave him up for us all will he not also give us all things with him? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies; who is to condemn? It is Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised from the dead, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us? Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or nakedness, or peril or sword ?…” (Rom 8:31-35) Words we all know well but the time comes when we have to live them out in our lives.

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