Day 27: Despair to Hope

Read: Romans 5:17-21

My youngest sister is almost 17 years younger than me. I’ve gotten to see her grow through her toddler years, and it has been a huge joy to be able to be part of her different development stages. When she turned two, she started to act out. She’d throw fits, scream, cry, and throw herself on the ground. When she turned three, she began to get really good at lying, and if she got caught in her lies, she would negotiate her way out of them.

 Nobody taught her how to do these things. We didn’t have a coaching session with her on how to lie or how to throw a tantrum. When we told her why she wasn’t allowed to do certain things, she often got sneakier or did the thing she wasn’t allowed to do even more than she was doing before.

Obviously, this isn’t a strange occurrence. All toddlers push the limits as they explore the world that is in front of them. Having the knowledge of what is right and wrong doesn’t give a three year old a desire to do what is right. They need to have a heart change.

Even as adults, we are much like toddlers. We fall into different patterns and even though we know what is wrong, that isn’t enough to change our behaviors. The Israelites had the law given to them from God by Moses. Even though it was clearly laid out what they were expected to do, they didn’t do it. They failed again and again. In the midst of that failure, God continued to love His broken people again and again.

All week, we’ve been talking about the gift of Christ and the way that He has moved us from despair to hope. This is where the joy and truth of the gospel comes in. We have the righteousness of Christ! Romans 5 ends on a very encouraging note. Sin does lead to death, but in Christ, we have eternal life.

We aren’t condemned anymore. Maybe you’re trapped by guilt that can so easily consume our thoughts. Or, it might be perfectionism that keeps you up at night. The list could go on and on. Jesus knows every thought that you can’t lay to rest. You have the freedom to set it before Him. It’s not about having it all together or all figured out. Being made new is a process, but Christ has not abandoned us as we wrestle. We can rest in that truth.

Our lives don’t end at the graveyard of this world. What does it mean to live into the hope of Romans 5? How will you go about your week with the ever increasing grace of Christ?

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