September 21, 2017

Hopeful Thanks

Romans 5:1-6

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.

—  Romans 5:6

It’s been said that our souls need hope the way our lungs need oxygen. Paul knew about our need for hope. It’s good to keep in mind that Paul was writing to Christians living ­under the dark, oppressive grip of Roman power. Seeds of hope were hard to scrounge up in the midst of the thorns of uncertainty and turmoil.

My guess is that you—like me—are often surrounded by situations of uncertainty and turmoil. Maybe a loved one has received a troubling diagnosis and the path ahead is frightening. Maybe you have a strained relationship with a child or friend and you’re uncertain if or when it might be restored. Or maybe you are uncertain whether God, who knows your past and heart completely, will accept and love you.

Paul extends hope to each one of us—a hope so powerful that it can both calm our fears and move us to give thanks. That hope is built on the truth that even though we are powerless and sinful, Christ died for us. And there’s more: Christ rose again from the dead. So our hope is forged out of death’s destruction, out of Christ’s victory over the grave. There’s no greater hope in this world.

The darkness and uncertainties in the world around us do not get the final word. God does. And God reaches out with life-renewing love to us. So let’s live this day with hope, giving thanks for Christ, our Savior!

O God, your love is beyond imagining. Fill us with hope today. We pray and rejoice in the name of our risen Savior. Amen!

About the author — Ruth Boven

Ruth Boven serves as minister of congregational life at LaGrave Ave. CRC in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She and her husband, Greg, have two adult children. They find rich purpose in urban ministry and delight in enjoying the wonders of God's good creation.

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