Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.
—Romans 12:12 (NLT)
By Chuck Griffin
If we are able to understand what our confident hope is, this becomes a simple verse to live by.
Paul wrote these words in a chapter of Romans where he also talked about making our bodies a living and holy sacrifice. Paul regularly spoke of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross as the central message of Christianity, and it is clear he wants us completely “sold out” on the idea, committed to its meaning in good times and bad.
The cross, of course, means freedom for us. Think of your sins for a moment; briefly experience them as the crushing weight they should be. (I feel a slight shudder when I do this.) Now remember, that weight has been lifted by Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross! Sin should lead to death, but both have been defeated by Christ.
Thus, the resurrection, the Easter event. It is our proof the cross is effective, and a promise of what is in store for us.
The cross also is the source of our confidence. We certainly will experience negative and even frightening moments in this life, but the fear they are somehow terminal, a full-stop end, is unjustified. We will pass through—life goes on, even after our bodily deaths.
This great truth of Christianity should shape every moment of our lives. Even in sorrow, joy lingers nearby because the truth of our salvation is constant.
Romans 12:12 is a simple Bible verse worth memorizing.
Lord, keep the cross before us in all circumstances. Amen.