Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. | Romans 5:1-5
When we stare suffering in the face, when we are overwhelmed by waves of uncertainty, when we are hit with unforeseen tests, what do we cling on to? We turn to anything and everything close enough that we can get a grip on. Emergency mode kicks in, and we begin to panic. We hold on to what we can see. Relationships, money, education, good looks, status. We hold on to these things with all the might and strength that we have, knowing that things will work out. We don’t let go until we are forced to, when we realize that all of these things amount to nothing. So then how can we have hope? If all of these things end up failing us, if all that we see now never works out, how can we have hope?
People say that we can’t see Jesus. They must be getting Jesus mixed up with someone else. When walking closely with the Lord, in prayer and the Word, how can we not see Jesus? If our lives are so consumed by what He has given us to know Him more – His Spirit, His living Word, and the ability to come confidently to His throne of grace – of course we will be able to see Him. He will be all that we do see.
As we persevere through tribulations, we see Him working. And as He works, He gives us His eyes. Our perspective completely changes when we take Him at His word. We may not be able to see what will happen tomorrow or in 10 years, but we can see exactly what He wants us to see. And that gives peace. We cling on to the one who gives peace, the one who tells us, “I’m with you, and I got this. Oh, and don’t forget, I love you.” Even in the midst of a million questions and situations that don’t make sense – we cling. We cling on to the only hope that does not disappoint. We cling on to the hope that we never have to let go of because it will never fail. And then the clinging turns into abiding. We abide. We rest. We are still. We wait. We obey. We exult! Yes, with joy we walk by faith!
Don’t be surprised at the trials that come your way. It’s all a part of the process of becoming more like Jesus Christ. Ask Him, “Lord, what are you trying to teach me?” There is a reason you are where you are. There is a reason why He is taking you through this. He is with you – don’t doubt that for a second. Know that who He is never changes. He is still the one who created the heavens and the earth. He is still the one who died and rose again, and He now intercedes on our behalf. He is still the one who is in control of it all. So, we choose to cling to Him. We choose to hope in Him. We know that at the end of our stay here, we have an inheritance, which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for us. There it is waiting as we cling.