PEACE IN THE MIDST OF TRIBULATION

A STUDY ON ROMANS CHAPTER 5

1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

Being justified by faith, we have peace with God. I wonder how many Christians struggle with this very issue of peace?

Jesus promised to give us peace.

He said that He would give us peace, not as the world gives, but but as only He can give us. Satan is a thief. He tries to steal our joy, our confidence, our hope. And he usually does this through getting us to doubt the promises of God. Where there is doubt, there is no peace. But if we understand the fulness of what Christ did for us, then we can have peace.

The peace the world has to offer is a temporary peace, which is most generally acquired through external circumstances. The person who is in bondage to sexual sin only finds peace when his or her lust has been gratified. But that peace is only temporal...soon they are seeking more gratification. So it happens with the drug addict, the alcoholic, the nicotine addict, the materialist, the hobbyist, the television addict, the sports enthusiast and on and on the list goes.

The things of God are not temporary. The things of this world soon fade away, but the things of God last forever. How foolish it is for anyone to trust in that which brings only temporary satisfaction!

But while all the above is true, the gist of this verse in context is that while we were once at war with God, we who are born again children of God have peace with God through Our Lord Jesus Christ. The fact of the matter is that the unconverted sinner is at war with God, in essence, shaking his fist at God, shouting defiantly: "I don’t need you, God!"

Verse 10 of chapter five bears this out. There we read:

"For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life."

Let us continue in our study of Romans 5:

1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

Because we have believed in the Finished Work of Jesus, and are no longer the enemies of God, we have access to the throne of God.

In Hebrews, chapter 4, verse 16, we are instructed:

16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. Grace is given to us to find help in time of need.

We are all a needy people. Christians have a need to daily be strengthened in their walk or in their lives. Notice that in Romans 5:2, we are told that it is by Faith that we have access to the grace of God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Again, we need to ask ourselves what does faith mean? Is it merely a passive belief in the truth of God’s word?

The Bible says that the devil believes, and he trembles. Wonderful Jesus! In Hebrews we are told that because Jesus is our Great High Priest, we can come boldly to the throne of grace.

Now, in Hebrews 4:14, we are told to hold fast our profession:

14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.

In verse 15, we are told that our high priest, Jesus, understands all of our infirmities and the issues we have to deal with in life.

15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

We can be assured that there is access to the throne of Grace, to receive help in our time of need, what ever that need is. He did not sin, and we find ourselves failing, because there is only One who ever walked the perfect walk, and that is Jesus.

WHEN THE ACCUSER POINTS HIS FINGER AT US, AND TELLS US HOW BADLY WE HAVE MESSED THINGS UP, WE CAN SAY, “BUT I KNOW WHOM I HAVE BELIEVED...I KNOW WHO IS INTERCEDING FOR ME. I KNOW THAT IF GOD IS FOR ME, NO ONE CAN STAND AGAINST ME.” GOD WANTS US TO SUCCEED IN OUR WALK WITH HIM. CONTRARY TO WHAT THE ENEMY WANTS US TO BELIEVE, GOD IS NOT WAITING WITH A BIG STICK TO NAIL US EVERY TIME WE SIN. HE WENT TO GREAT LENGTHS TO REDEEM US. HE WILL NOT EASILY GIVE UP ON US. THAT IS WHY THE SCRIPTURE SAYS THAT WE CAN BOLDLY COME UNTO THE THRONE OF GRACE...BECAUSE HE WANTS TO HELP US. HE WANTS TO GIVE US THE VICTORY.

But the key is having a mind to obey:

Heb 5:9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

This is where eternal security for the believer comes in. We have the assurance of eternal salvation, if we are walking in obedience to His Word. Of course, there is none who have perfectly obeyed Him, but our determination must be such that we resolve to live a life in obedience to Him. Our hearts must be set on serving and obeying Him.

Rom 5 (cont.)

1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;

Paul encourages us to know that not only have we obtained peace with God through Jesus Christ, but because of that peace, we are able to glory in tribulations. The verse says we glory in tribulations.

This word translated in verse 3 as “glory” is a different word than that used in verse 2. In verse 2, “glory” is the Greek word “doxa”, which speaks of the splendor and the majesty of God.

In verse 3, “Glory” is translated from the Greek word “kauchaomai”, which Strong’s concordance translates thus:
2744 kauchaomai (kow-khah'-om-ahee); from some (obsolete) base akin to that of aucheo (to boast) and 2172; to vaunt (in a good or a bad sense): KJV-- (make) boast, glory, joy, rejoice.

The problems most Christians have when studying the Word of God, is that they read verses out of context. One would read this and say, “how in the world can I glory in my tribulations?” Since we have access to the grace of God through Jesus Christ, we find that we can have joy in the midst of tribulations, because, as Paul later explains in Romans 8:28,

“ALL THINGS WORK TOGETHER FOR GOOD FOR THOSE WHO LOVE GOD AND ARE CALLED ACCORDING TO HIS PURPOSE."

So, come what may, the Christian can stand assured that whatever he or she experiances in this life, as long as they are in His Will, God will turn around for their good. See that we are able to rejoice in our tribulations, because we KNOW that tribulation works patience. Why do we know that?Because our FAITH tells us that God’s plans for us are for good, and not evil.

We have learned to trust in God, our Father, and we understand that the things He allows us to go through will result in our maturing in Him.

Anxiety is the flip side of patience. There is no peace in anxiety. See that the word exhorts us not to grow weary in well doing, but to understand that in due time we will reap, if we do not faint, or give up. (Gal. 6:9)

This speaks of patience. In Thayer’s the Greek word for patience is translated thus
:
5281 hupomone- 1) steadfastness, constancy, endurance a) in the New Testament, the characteristic of a man who is not swerved from his deliberate purpose and his loyalty to faith and piety by even the greatest trials and sufferings b) patiently, and steadfastly 2) a patient, steadfast waiting for 3) a patient enduring, sustaining, perseverance

In order to be an overcomer in this wicked age, we need to learn how to persevere in the things of God. There are so many people who have the attitude to throw up their hands in exasperation when things get tough, and they quit. People commit suicide because they have not learned to persevere. They become drug addicts or alcoholics, because perseverance is not a characteristic they have achieved. They quit one job after another, because they have not learned to persevere.

If they are not faithful to persevere in the things of this world, how can they expect to persevere in the things of God? One of the reasons a person backslides is because they do not trust in the Father when things get hard.

Knowing that we are learning to be overcomers in all aspects of our lives, should give us cause to rejoice in our trials. The fact of the matter is, the more trials we have, we learn that through them all, God delivers us...How else could Paul and Silas sing hymns when thrown in jail? They were patiently enduring their tribulation because they trusted the God who is more than able to deliver them. They had seen His Mighty hand deliver them before. They knew that “All things work together for good to those who love God...” They had already achieved a steadfastness in their character through their walk with Jesus and the things He had taken them through.

We are told that we overcome the Wicked One by the Blood of the Lamb and the Word of our Testimony. Verse four says that the patience or perseverance we obtain through tribulation results in building our character.

That’s what the Greek word translated as “experience” means:

4. And patience, experience; and experience, hope:

“Experience”=1382 dokime- 1) proving, trial 2) approved, tried character 3) a proof, a specimen of tried worth

1 Pet 1:3-9

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: 7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: 8 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: 9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls. (KJV)

James 1:12 12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. (KJV)

The end result of our perseverance through our trials is the crown of life! Our salvation. Our deliverance. Our confidence.

PEOPLE RECOGNIZE A TRUE MAN OR WOMAN OF GOD, BECAUSE OF THE CHARACTER THEY HAVE. LOOK AT JOSEPH, WHO WAS TRIED IN SO MANY WAYS, BUT HIS CHARACTER WAS SUCH THAT HE WOULD NOT COMPROMISE. AND AFTER IT WAS ALL SAID AND DONE, HE TOLD HIS BROTHERS THAT WHAT THEY HAD MEANT FOR EVIL, THE LORD HAD WORKED OUT FOR GOOD-NOT JUST FOR JOSEPH, BUT FOR ALL WHO WERE INVOLVED.

4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope:

I just wrote that the end result of our perseverance through our trials, is among other things, confidence. That’s really what the word translated as “hope” here means:

1680 elpis (el-pece'); from a primary elpo (to anticipate, ususally with pleasure); expectation (abstractly or concretely) or confidence: KJV-- faith, hope.

Paul had confidence in his Saviour. He had confidence, first of all, that God would never allow him to go through more than he could bear... (1 Cor. 10:13) He had confidence in the ability of God to overcome any obstacle in his life (Rom. 8:34-37; Phil. 4:11-13) He had confidence that no matter what happened in life, God would make it work for his good. (Rom 8:28)

It was because of the various trials and tribulations which he went through, that Paul was able to face any situation in his life with confidence. He had the confidence that he would never be disappointed, because through it all, he saw the mighty Hand of God deliver him.

Rom.5:5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

A child of God knows the love of the Father for him or her. A child of God trusts the Father, knowing that if God is for us, who can be against us? God’s thoughts toward us are good, and not evil. The Wicked one may come after us like he did Job. We may be afflicted, and lose all, but if we are God’s children, we must understand that the enemy will not prosper.

Take the example of Job. Through Job’s trials, thousands of years later, the body of Christ is still benefitted, and encouraged. Untold multitudes of people have been positively affected because of the patience and the faithfulness of Job. When he was going through it, I am certain that he had no idea that he would be such an encouragement to so many people through the ages.

No doubt, Paul could rejoice in his tribulations. Not that he enjoyed being persecuted...he just had confidence that God would deliver him from them all, and in the end, even if he died, he had the confidence that God would receive Him into His Kingdom.

Phil 1:19-24 19 For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, 20 According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death. 21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22 But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not. 23 For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: 24 Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.(KJV)

Rom.5:5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. 6 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. 8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Here we must pause for a moment and reflect on the goodness of God. The issue at hand is this: The Word tells us that God loved us so much that even when we were yet sinners, Jesus died for us. He saw us as worth redeeming even in our sins.

How many middle class Americans would see enough worth in the drunk on skid row who has spent three weeks in an oblivious stupor to bring them in their carpeted homes, and sit them at their table, and serve them from their finest dishes? Not many. Yet Jesus left all the splendor of heaven to redeem such a one. He has invited all to sit at His table, and to partake of His goodness.

Let that understanding of Love sink deep in your heart. Once it really has penetrated your heart, you can be assured that there is nothing that will separate you from the love of Christ. In the midst of tribulation, one can fall victim to the ploy of the enemy to get us to doubt the Love of God for us. Perfect Love casts out fear. If we understand the Love of the Father for us, then we can understand why we can be free to rejoice in our afflictions.

Rom 5:9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. 10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

Oh, blessed Assurance! How marvellous and wonderful is the Grace of God! He is our Fortress, and our Strong Tower.

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