Lent – Day 35 – Reflections Through Romans

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust Him, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)

RomansHoly Week has begun.

Yesterday, Palm Sunday, we recalled the arrival of Jesus into Jerusalem on the way to the Cross. For His disciples, it became a week filled with intensity, conflict, confusion, and fear. The same crowd that cried out “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord” would demand just a few days later, “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!

The city of Jerusalem was awash with pilgrims in that week. Craziness. Chaos.

In many ways, Holy Week serves as a metaphor for our lives; dashed excitement and shattered dreams. Perhaps this Monday you can already see a cross on Friday. Holy week? It feels considerably less than sacred and holy.

In Romans 15, the Apostle Paul delivers a benediction; a blessing. He’s not quite finished writing the letter, but he delivers a word of hope to all of us whose holy week feels filled with conflict, confusion, or chaos.

No matter how difficult the trail seems, the God of hope stands by us and behind us. Indeed, it’s the powerful work of the Holy Spirit to help us abound in hope.

Hope motivates. It sustains. It shapes. It changes everything.

Ray Johnston’s 2004 book titled The Hope Quotient, reminds us that people with hope will persevere. They don’t quit. Can you imagine a couple on the brink of divorce saying “I really think we can make this work, but let’s not”? Or someone in the workplace saying,”I love this job and feel so good about my future prospects that I quit”?

Paul declares a blessing for every Holy Week person who feels like the proverbial pilgrim; away from home, vulnerable to others, and caught up in chaos. The God of hope can empower you with hope, through His Holy Spirit. And the outcome is joy and peace.

Hope dispels despair. It lifts our eyes above the horizon of our circumstances. It strengthens us. It helps us endure tough times. It puts suffering into a new perspective. It makes faith larger than fear. It protects the mind. It bolsters the soul.

Holy Week marks the final days before the Cross. For everyone who faces their own via dolorosa, hope comes like rain on a parched land. We can trust the One who finishes every Holy Week with a Resurrection Sunday.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust Him, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

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2 Responses to Lent – Day 35 – Reflections Through Romans

  1. chuckm49 says:

    Hi David,
    Thank you for your comments, reflections, and thoughts on Paul’s Letter to the Romans. Other than the four Gosples, I personally feel it is the epitomy of our theology. Seems that I have, and will continue to teach through it, chapter by chapter for the One in Christ adult singles ministry. We also decided it would be a great study for our home Connection Group, which is still going well, and full of wonderful, loving folks. I will be utilizing your comments as an introduction each week to bring Paul’s writings into perspective, and how we can live out that theology every day, and in every circumstance. Thank you again my great friend and mentor.

    In Christ’s Loving Service,

    Chuck Mihlbauer
    Community Life Pastor
    Eastside Christian Church Anaheim, CA

    • David Timms says:

      Chuck, thanks for your note. Always good to hear from you. I’m glad to hear that you’re teaching through Romans. I’m doing the same in a class here on campus at the moment. 🙂 What a wonderful opportunity. Blessings, my friend.

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