When I was a kid, my mom took me to the doctor for a well check-up. As far as I knew, I was in good health. When the doctor asked me if anything hurt, I casually told him that my wrist kind of hurt, but that it was fine. "I probably got it from skateboarding," I told him. The doctor didn’t like the sound of that, so he ran some x-rays. I went home with a cast on my hand that afternoon. Since then, I occasionally wonder if there is anything wrong with me that I don’t know about? Have you ever wondered that? A little bit of hypochondria acts in you.
You may be fearful of things that may happen to you or your loved ones. Have you ever struggled with being a spiritual hypochondriac? You find yourself thinking about your relationship with God—wondering if you and God are ok, if God is on good terms with you, or wondering if you have lost His love. You hear pastors talk about reading the Bible and think “I don’t read my Bible very much. Does that mean God doesn’t like me?” I want you to know right off the bat, God does not want His children to live in fear, doubt, or insecurity. God wants His sons and daughters to be free from fear and doubt.
Paul says, “Therefore, having been justified, we have peace with God.” God is interested in speaking directly to your fear, doubt, and insecurity. You’ve been justified by your faith in Jesus Christ and that gives you peace with God.
As we read on in Romans chapter 5, it gets even better. Paul says that not only do you have peace with God, but because of your faith in Jesus, you now get to stand in grace. Grace isn’t something to take lightly as believers—simply thanking God for forgiving and saving us by His grace. That’s not the only use of grace. Grace is a house where you live. It’s a suit that you wear. It’s an ocean that you sink in. God’s grace is ever present and ever living—ever ready to pour out and give upon giving.
Paul continues, “But that’s not all! We gladly suffer because we know that suffering helps us to endure.” Even in your sufferings His grace is alive and well. Suffering, when met with grace, produces endurance. Endurance means to stay with it, to stay on track and persevere. And endurance produces proven character, and proven character, hope.