Today is Thursday. Many Thursdays ago my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. Fast forward some Thursdays and she underwent surgery. A few more and she started chemo. A couple later she lost her hair. Many Thursdays later she started radiation. And I am proud to say that 3 days ago, on Monday, she finished treatments.
She won a battle that I fully realize some women never see victory over. And there were many Thursdays over the last several months where I chose to not see the light at the end of the tunnel and get overwhelmed by what my family was facing. There were many Thursdays where I did not live Romans 5 out to the fullest.
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. (Romans 5:1-5)
Paul really spoke to me here in this passage. To think that we gain access by faith into the grace in which we now stand brings so much comfort to my heart – to think that by faith in Jesus I am standing IN the grace He pours out on you and me every day.
Paul goes on to say “And we boast in the hope of the glory of God.” (vs. 2) This verse reminded me of a memory. A couple days after I heard of my mom’s diagnosis I told my team at work through tears what was going on. Five minutes after our meeting I got a meeting request from a coworker to have lunch that day. I will never forget climbing in the car and her saying, “Rebecca, I just feel compelled to tell you that God is going to do great things as a result of what your mom is fixing to face. I just know it and I felt called to tell you.”
In that moment I nodded my head in agreement but had no idea what that meant to me practically speaking. But in my mess, a friend was able to boast in the hope of the glory of God (vs. 2) that would be revealed as a result of mom’s journey through cancer. That ultimately God would get the glory and if I followed Him in faith I would get to a place where I could glory in my sufferings (vs. 3). Because, as Paul said because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. (vs. 3-5)
So the battles make us stronger (because we know that suffering produces perseverance). Strength builds our integrity (perseverance builds character). And our integrity builds hope!
The hindsight of seeing God’s grace and provision through a storm is a beautiful picture. I am so thankful to get a glimpse of it this week as I walked my mom out of her last radiation treatment with a certificate in her hand. There is no feeling like the feeling of seeing God’s grace poured out right in front of you in the middle of your mess.
How can you boast in hope of the glory of God in the middle of your mess?