In my last blog I spoke about the implications of the gift that came through the death of Jesus being stronger than Adam’s sin. I believe that, taken with other Scriptures that refer to the Book of Life (particularly Exodus 32:32), the implication is that everyone is by default in the Book of Life and you have to be erased from it to lose eternal life.
But when you read Paul’s letter to the Romans chapters 1 – 8, his main concern is not actually hope of eternal life though that is obviously important to him as well. His main aim is to show how to harness the very real power that the death of Christ has in relation to overcoming sin here and now. But this first: we must be prepared to suffer to see that victory. This is not a heavy thing (His yoke is easy) so Paul starts Romans 5 with a declaration of ascending comfort:
“We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. 4 And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. 5 And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.”
I hope we can rejoice in suffering too. Personally I struggle with that one but these words do help if only I would think of them when in the midst of trials. Somehow it seems like it is hard to think of anything else but the trial itself when in the midst of it.