Romans 5 and 6 need to be read and digested slowly. Paul proclaims that believers “having been justified by faith … have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ … have also obtained access by faith in to this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God” (5:1,2).
This brings a wonderful peace of mind – the result of our faith in God’s word – like those who have lived before, such as Noah who “being warned by God concerning events yet unseen” acted “in reverent fear” (Hebrews 11:7). We rejoice because we are convinced that God is “a living God” ready to be involved in our lives so that “we feel sure of better things – things that belong to salvation” (Hebrews 6:9). Let us “rejoice in hope” sustained by this thought when times are difficult. Note Paul’s difficulties; “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down but not destroyed” (2 Corinthians 4:8,9).
There is a graphic account of this in Jeremiah 20 when “Pashur the priest … who was chief officer in the house of the LORD, heard Jeremiah prophesying these things. Then Pashur beat Jeremiah the prophet, and put him in the stocks …” (verses 1,2). Jeremiah then prophesies, “you Pashur and all who dwell in your house, shall go into captivity … and there you shall die” (verse 6).
Then Jeremiah has anxious thoughts, comparable to Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. “For the word of the LORD has become for me a reproach and derision all day long. If I say, ‘I will not mention him, or speak any more in his name,’ there is in my heart a burning fire … I am weary with holding it in, and I cannot” (verses 8,9). We pondered verse 12, “O LORD of hosts, who tests the righteous. Who sees the heart and mind, let me see your vengeance upon them, for to you I have committed my cause”.
Do we desire to see God’s vengeance poured out on today’s Godless world? God will decide whether we live to see it or not – or whether there is a brief period of rest until we resurrection. The, through His grace, we will rejoice to have a part in the endless wonder of his kingdom, the great and wonderful thing is that “we rejoice in hope”.