The Grace Series: "Romans 5:5 - A Deepening Trust." Part V

[This is the fifth part of The Grace Series in Romans 5. The first part of this series can be found here. The second part can be found here. The third part can be found here. The fourth part can be found here.]

Paul concludes in Romans 5:5, "And hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us." God not dribbles out the presence of His spirit, sprinkling here or there, but the word is to lavish upon. He pours out the gracious influences of His Spirit in our lives in a way that will make these struggles come together in the deepening of our hope such that we can praise and rejoice in them.

Going through these tribulations is difficult and a struggle; sometimes seeming unbearable at times. We don't desire the pain. But we desire what the pain produces; that which God provides in the midst of that. We wonder in our justification, which is easy to accept. But this tribulation stuff is somewhat the wildness of life. Together there is joy in the journey.

Let me conclude with a couple of applications and reflections of what we've seen throughout this series about the grace of God through salvation, justification, tribulations, and redemption. Many of our greatest songs and hymns exalt the grace of God. "Grace, grace, God's grace. Grace that will pardon and cleanse within." When was the last time you sang, "Works, works, My work. Work that will serve to condemn me to Hell?" No. We remind ourselves of the grace of God in salvation. I could not merit favor from God. Yet by blessed grace He receives me to Himself and I not have peace with God. I am standing in grace.

We also need to remind ourselves of the grace of God in tribulation and struggles. We sometimes get overwhelmed and overburdened (we think). We despair and become depressed. However, we must remind ourselves of the grace of God that is bestowed in the midst of our trials. Spiritual depression afflicts the church; that we do not properly understand our position in Christ, our calling, and the security of our salvation. We must be reminded of these things that bring us back to a place of joy, rest and peace. In this issue of depression Martin Loyd Jones, a great preacher of the last century, in one of his very first chapters concerning spiritual depression has a great passage on what we must adopt as our habit if we are to avoid depression or if we are to get out of despair and depression in the midst of the overwhelming pressures and overwhelming burdens of life.

The main art in the matter of spiritual living is how to handle yourself. You have to take yourself in hand. You have to address yourself, preach to yourself, question yourself. You must say to your soul, "Why are you cast down? What business have you have to be disquieted?" You must turn, abrade, condemn, and exhort yourself. Then go say, "Hope thou in God!" instead of muttering in this unhappy depressed manner. Remind yourself of God. What has God done in the past? What has God pledged himself to do? Defy others and the devil and say, "I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance, who is also the health of my countenance and my God!"

May God grant all us the grace to recall these things in the day of struggle, trial, and depression to preach, confront, and remind ourselves that the blessed grace of God is the only hope for mankind.


Cross-blogged at Apologia Christi


Weekend Fisher said…
We also need to remind ourselves of the grace of God in tribulation and struggles. We sometimes get overwhelmed and overburdened (we think).

The only way I've been able to "successfully remind myself of the grace of God in tribulation and struggles" is to look at the cross. Anything besides that is too high-flying to reach me in the trenches, too hypothetical to break through the thick wall of reality. So to me, "the grace of God in the midst of struggles" is the cross.

Take care & God bless

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