But the Holy Spirit fills our hearts with his love

Romans 5:1-5 … Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory. We can rejoice, too, 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.

Undeserved privilege. That sounds good. Health, wealth, and happiness, right?

Oops—no. Problems and trials. Confidence and joy. Endurance. Character. Hope. God’s glory.

They all go together?

Wait—what happened to health, wealth, and happiness? Isn’t God supposed to bless me, if I have enough faith?

Sorry to pop this balloon. Jesus never offered health, wealth and happiness. He did promise to walk WITH us through our problems and trials.

This is Paul talking. Take a look at 1 Corinthians 4:9-13, 2 Corinthians 6:4-10 and 11:23-33. Paul earned the right to talk about confidence and joy in the face of problems and trials. He knew God’s precious love for him was not connected to comfort. He’s the guy who sang praises to God after he was beaten and clamped in the stocks.

No pat answers here. No bandaids. I love comfort. Don’t you? So I’m going to sit with this for a while.

Shutterstock: GoodIdeas

2 thoughts on “But the Holy Spirit fills our hearts with his love

  1. Thanks, Deb, for keeping the creative tension between joy and grief, between enjoying God forever and suffering. I think that most of the attributes of God and most of the truths we stand on need to be kept in creative tension with equally important and seemingly opposite attributes or truths. If I understood that better, I’d be much more flexible even while standing firm on the absolutes on both sides.

    Liked by 1 person

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