Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; (Romans 5:1-3)
Romans 5 is a chapter all about the assurance of salvation. Because of our justification, through the death and resurrection of Jesus, we now have peace with God. Our conscience has been informed that something effective has been done to reconcile us to God, our sins have been answered for, our judgment has been borne away.
We have access to God now, for Jesus has purchased for us a status of grace. We now stand in favor with God, cleansed, redeemed, adopted as God’s own children, and in the position of being able to “Draw near to God with confidence” in worship and prayer. We no longer dread the judgment which we richly deserved, God has reconciled us to Himself.
And we rejoice! Rejoicing is the mark of the Christian, its what true christians do.Luke’s gospel ends that way;
And He led them out as far as Bethany, and He lifted up His hands and blessed them.1 Now it came to pass, while He blessed them, that He was parted from them and carried up into heaven. And they worshiped Him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and were continually in the temple praising and blessing God. Amen. (Luke 24:50-53)
And Acts 2 gives us a snapshot of the early church, which brings this truth out-
And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.(Acts 2:46-47)
Christians, can praise God and rejoice, because there is nothing as significant as the question of whether or not one is right with God. When that question is adequately answered, Joy is sure to abound. Even in trial and tribulation Christians can rejoice, as the writer to Hebrews reminded the persecuted church;
But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions;Partly, whilst ye were made a gazingstock both by reproaches and afflictions; and partly, whilst ye became companions of them that were so used.For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance.(Hebrews 10:33-35)
Remember that ? When “You took joyfully the spoiling of your goods?”How does anyone rejoice even when being plundered, robbed, and ruined? Behold the power of being set in the right with God!
Joy abounds, when realizing how sinful, lost and deserving of judgment we truly are, then finding out that God loved us so much He did something costly to righteously reverse that judgment . We rejoice because we realize that life in this world is as bad as it will ever get for us, afterwards, bliss and love, and glory! Not even death can get us down.
Remember the verse, “All have sinned and are coming short of the Glory of God”?We lost it , our sins forfeited for us that which we were made for, the purpose of our existence, we were made to reflect and enjoy forever, the glory of God. But sins make us banal, worthless, empty and meaningless. Vanity of vanity, all is vanity!
But we rejoice in Hope of the glory of God! The Gospel restores to us the hope of the Glory which we rejected and fell short of. Remember that the essence of our sin was that we rejected the glory of God, trying to find beauty and meaning in that which is less than God. This is what has corrupted our personalities.
God is now working in sinful, weak, fallen you and me! We will not be forever lustful, petty, spiteful,sin dominated, blind,lame and distorted. Because of justification, we can become what we were created to become, God can now work with us from a position of justification.
Not even tribulation can shatter we who have been justified. Tribulation and trial used to be a fearful, subconscious reminder to me that I was under wrath, that is why men usually rail at God even if they profess not to believe in Him, when they go through trials.
But one of the marks of the christian, justified by faith, and restored to the hope of glory, is that He knows that even trials and tribulations are going to be put to work for His good, by the God who in love sent his son to justify Him through the cross.