I wonder how many people were hoping that 2021 would end better than 2020. If they were, they may have been a bit disappointed.
I know I entered 2021 anticipating that the v- and fear-pandemic would decline around the country and the world. Instead, it developed variant after variant, people I knew died, the media and science and politicians each tried to assert their own view. We were fed truths and falsehood and had to try to determine which was which. That was not easy. (Still isn’t!)
I also experienced a few personal disappointments that I need to reconcile in my heart. Suddenly, as I am beginning the new year, the first part of Romans 5 has become more vital for my life. Promises such as “declared righteous by faith” and “peace with God through our LORD Jesus Christ” have become promises to cling to daily.
But it is those words in verses 3-6 that truly hit every day living “…we rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope.”
Paul reminds us that “This hope will not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. For while we were still helpless, at the appointed moment, Christ died for the ungodly.” [HCSB]
Our hope in God’s love does not disappoint us – unlike the events we experience in the world. God’s hope is a steady, secure, proven hope. It was proven at the cross … for while we were still helpless (and I don’t know about you, but I am still helpless apart from Christ Jesus) … Christ died for us (the ungodly).
Knowing that means that despite the disappointments found in this life, we can (and should) rejoice daily in the hope of God’s proven love! A great reminder for a new year!