Paul knew how to rejoice when he experienced hardship because He knew who He was in Christ.
“We can rejoice, too,” Paul wrote, “when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. 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” (Romans 5:3-5, NLT).
When we believe that God already has the answer to our problems, we praise Him. Those problems develop strength of character instead of overwhelming us because we know they are overcome in Christ. We have hope and great confidence in God. We know that He first loved us (I John 4:19). And that His work of salvation in us doesn’t lack a thing. It is complete, thorough, and finished. Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see (Hebrews 11:1). The hope God has given us never leads to disappointment! When we know and believe that what we need is already ours, we live by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthian 5:7)! And when we believe, no enemy—no lie—nothing has any power to come against us.
Do you want to live the abundant life Jesus died to give you (John 10:10)? You live his life by faith. When you believe in your heart that you are the righteousness of God in Christ, you lack nothing (2 Corinthians 5:21). The enemy can’t steal, kill and destroy your right standing with God. The problems you experience can’t overwhelm the abundance of your relationship with Him. What you experience doesn’t determine who you are. Your feelings don’t determine who you are. The righteousness of God that Christ has given you determines who you are.
“I have glorified You on the earth,” Jesus prayed to His Father. “I have finished the work which You have given Me to do (John 17:4, NKJV).
When Christ died for mankind, He died for the whole world. He finished the work God sent Him to accomplish. His finished work is a work of grace that is true for eternity. We enter into His finished work of grace when, by faith, we accept Christ’s perfect and complete payment for our sins. We also live His finished work of grace by faith. And we live with great assurance. We are sealed in that work of grace by the promise of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13).
When you believe you are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:21)—when you believe that the work is already finished (John 17:4), you have His power to stand strong through each problem in life knowing He has already taken care of it. You see God’s finished outcome. And you walk by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7).
The just—those who are made righteous in Christ—live by faith (Hebrews 10:38). It is by faith we received the righteousness of Christ. And it is by faith in our right standing with God that we live His abundant life. From the beginning of our salvation until the moment we leave this world, we experience God's greatest blessings when we live by faith in the finished work of Christ.
Without faith, it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 6). Exercise the gift of faith that is yours in Christ. Believe in His promises. You experience results according to what you believe (Matthew 9:29).
The Holy Spirit reveals who you are in the Word. Renew your mind with God’s truth (Romans 12:2). Believe in the finished work of Jesus in your life. Know who you are in Christ. His faith will fuel you. In Christ’s love, you are “made complete” with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God (Ephesians 3:19).
“For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power” (Colossians 2:9-10, NKJV).
© 2023 Lynn Lacher