Sometimes life makes us feel like we should give up. That it’s time to quit the fight against sin and give up living for God. Problems with your spouse, your work, your studies. Short and shallow devotionals – if you have any time for the word. Wrestling with our sins, day in and day out. Life can hit us with huge boxing gloves and leave us nearly knocked out. “I’m just done.”
But in Romans 5 Paul gives us hope. There are mega blessings to be thankful for and great encouragement to keep living for God. It’s time to give up on giving up.
You Want to Give Up, But God Doesn’t
“There are always those times when we feel like giving up. Sometimes you just know your day is going to be rotten. And some of us might be facing the reality of not just one rotten day – we are plagued with the reality of rotten day after rotten day. So much so that we lose faith in God. We lose trust in God. Because every single day just keeps on pressing into us more, and more.
Don’t give up on God. Because God does not give up on you.
There is a particular sin that you are struggling with and you feel like you are just losing the battle against sin. It’s as though sin has your face on the pavement and it’s even hard for you to turn your face and look to the hills where your help will come from”
“Don’t give up on God. Because God does not give up on you. In fact it’s in those moments when God is pressing in even harder. It is in those moments when God is training you. It is in those moments when God is growing you – conforming you into the image of Jesus Christ.
God Sustains us with Blessings
God gives us blessings. In order to equip us to walk this life of perseverance. He’s already bestowed blessings upon us to strengthen us so that we don’t give up. God knows that it’s gonna get tough… Before the foundations of the earth God planned it. And he has given us blessings that will keep us going in this life.
These are true blessings. Not superficial blessings. Not blessings of cars or houses or jobs. Those would be nice, but those won’t keep us going in life. As you travel you need more sustenance than these things can provide.
God knows that it’s gonna get tough… Before the foundations of the earth God planned it. And he has given us blessings that will keep us going in this life.
Remember the Mega Blessings
Romans 5:1-2 explains that now you are saved, there are three blessings that you have received. Peace, grace and glory. These are mega blessings. Big blessings. It’s big picture thinking. You are born again in peace. You live in grace, and you will die to glory. When the walls are closing in, remember these mega blessings.
We were once enemies of God. (Romans 5: 8-10) The biggest problem that we had was God’s wrath over us. But God gives us this blessing of peace. Remember him.
Remember his grace. Grace is real – it is displayed in Jesus Christ. He rose, is seated at the right hand of God and is ruling right now. Grace is alive, active and available for you even today. Grace trains us to say yes to holiness and no to ungodliness. And it tells us to wait. We will see our king and God face to face and we will be made like him. Glorified. We have these blessings now. Grab hold of them and persevere to the end. He is secure.
Zoom into the Details of Grace
When I say we receive minute blessings as well as mega blessings, I don’t mean the former are small. Rather, in Romans 5:3-5 Paul zooms in to the details of how God’s grace works in our lives. You need the big picture of the mega blessings to give you perspective. Then you can focus on the minute details of the grace that God has made available for us. This helps us. We know what is happening and we don’t drown in how down we are feeling at this moment in time.
Sufferings produces endurance. Endurance produces character and character produces hope.” Paul speaks as though it is a maths equation. These are certainties.
“Sufferings produces endurance. Endurance produces character and character produces hope.” (Romans 5:3-5) Paul speaks as though it is a maths equation. These are certainties. God does not create suffering. But he knows that we live in a broken and fallen world. So when suffering comes God says “don’t get caught up in it. Look at what I am doing through the suffering. I am giving you endurance. I am giving you character and giving you hope.”
Endurance is Choosing God
Endurance is a ‘toughness’ to fight against sin. Every time temptation comes and you endure and you choose the Lord there is a strength that is built in us. A strength to be decisive and to choose God every time. When that takes place, character is built within us to be mature and considerate disciples. Then hope springs forth. And this hope does not put us to shame – rather it helps us to know that we won’t suffer forever. There is a glory that awaits us in Christ Jesus.
God’s Motivation for Blessing us is Surprising
So what is God’s motivation for doing all of this for us? Romans 5:8-10 spells it out:
“but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.” (Romans 5:8-10, ESV)
There was nothing good in us that attracted God to leave heaven and come save us. It was His love and His love alone that moved him.
It is clear from these verses that God was moved by his own love. We were enemies, these verses tell us. There was nothing good in us that attracted God from the throne room of heaven for him to leave heaven and come save us. But it was His love and His love alone that moved him.
Don’t Give up! God Has Dealt with your Biggest Problem
God removed wrath from us. He dealt with our biggest problem; that we are separated from God for all eternity. Therefore all other things that you are going through right now – He is bigger than that. So don’t give up on God. Give up giving up.
Do you have these blessings? Have you grabbed a hold of them? Do so! Because your father enables you to do that – by grace. But if you are sitting here and you are not a born again Christian, Jesus is calling you. It’s impossible for you to do life alone. Its impossible for you to reach the end, meet him face to face and stand your own ground without his son. Give your life to Him. Let Him hold onto you. Stop trying to hold onto yourself. Give up on that. And trust the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Text: Romans 5:1-10
Date Preached: 30 June 2019
Location: Christ Church Midrand, Johannesburg, South Africa