Jesus is the Reason for our Hope and Peace!Dan Doyle
Jesus is the reason for our hope and for our peace! As Paul tells us, we have been justified through him to God, the Father. Because we have come to believe in Jesus we have gained access by that faith to all the graces we need to live our lives in honor of Godâ€™s gracious love. In living our lives through this faith, we will find the peace that surpasses all human understanding. Yes, we are a people who can â€śboast in the hope of the glory of God.â€ť (verse 2)
But this is not all. Because we have been justified through our faith in Jesus Christ, we are able to bear our sufferings, knowing that they produce â€śperseverance, perseverance, character; and character hope.â€ť (verse 3) Why is this so? Because, as Paul tells us, â€śGodâ€™s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.â€ť (verse 5)
This, too, is the very reason why we can live our public lives in accord with the faith that we have been given. Though it has always been true that, in doing so, we may suffer at the hands of those who do not believe, or those who actively oppose Godâ€™s grace. But Paul tells us, â€śChrist died for the ungodly.â€ť (verse 6) We are all sinners, yet Godâ€™s love is so great that he willingly came into the world to reconcile us to himself. That love was made flesh in Jesus. It was manifested through Christâ€™s suffering and death on our behalf. It was his blood that justified us. Our reconciliation with God came through Christâ€™s death for us on that Cross. This is why we can have hope, even in the darkness of the worldâ€™s cruelties. Because of this, our hearts are filled with a peace.
In living our lives openly in this faith, way we make our justification in Jesus Christ tangible to our families, our friends, our neighbors, the forgotten and the disenfranchised. Yes, even to our enemies. If we are justified we can do nothing less than live the Christ life publicly, in hope and without shame. If our faith is only words, without actions, there is no life in it. Our faith is a living, vibrant, and vigorous gift of Godâ€™s grace. It is the strength behind our hope and the power behind our love. Because of this faith, we do not just dream of peace, it is breathed into us every moment by the Holy Spirit.
Jesus, through you we are justified and we believe. Help us to live our faith openly, with the peace that comes from hope and the courage that comes from love. Make us true and worthy instruments of your love and your grace to our families, friends, neighbors and all others we meet. We pray this in your most holy name, Jesus. Amen!
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