Romans 5:1-5, “1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; 4 and perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us”
Often when we hear teachings on faith, we think of faith as a means of expectation and it is, however there is more to faith than that. Rarely do we hear teachers, pastors tackle “Sustaining Faith or Enduring Faith”. We minimize or devalue sustaining faith because it may not promise new things, it holds in place what can easily be broken and lost. It maintains it and sustains it for long even unto the end.
Paul in this chapter begins with justification by faith, the state in which those who have repented and trusted in Christ alone for their eternal salvation are declared not guilty. This faith makes believers peaceable with God through Jesus Christ. Through this faith we also have access into this grace in which we stand. This grace (unmerited favor) is sustained by/through faith in every stage of a Christian life. This grace through faith produces joy because of the hope it reveals. It is the hope that sees the end result despite of the current status.
A believer who knows his end results works his ways backwards. To explain this point, think of an athlete looking forward to the finish line, his mind is not consumed with the present. He may think of it, but he is not consumed, entangled, or held by it. The thought of the finish lines gives him the ability to endure knowing that what he has to face cannot be compared to what awaits him. He has faith that the hindrances are temporal. With this truth, “3 …we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; 4 and perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 Now hope does not disappoint…,” why? “…because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us”
Faith that sustains gives assurance that the prayers offered to God are not in vain. God hears and He is concerned about what we all go through, however God is in the business of forming and filling. He forms first that He may fill. The forming process is hard that is why we need sustaining faith that guides us through tribulation as it produces endurance that builds character revealing hope that develops such a greater faith. Hebrews 5:7-8, paints that clear picture, “7 During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. 8 Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered 9 and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him”, NIV. We can see that even Jesus did not escape Romans 5.
I have seen this enduring faith sustain us during these years dealing with infertility. I have seen it sustain my brother by accident has currently been confined to a wheelchair. I have seen this faith sustain a friend who lost her husband recently.
Therefore, as we are saved by faith, we must be sustained by faith, be purified by it until the end for in this grace through faith we STAND. Blessings Ev