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  • Joe Steenholdt

Romans 5:1-5 - Providence Produces Perseverance

Hope in God is not just wishful thinking, but a sure foundation.

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Read Romans 5:1-5

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Heidelberg Catechism Q&A 28

Q. How does the knowledge

of God’s creation and

providence help us?

A. We can be patient when things go against us,

thankful when things go well,

and for the future we can have

good confidence in our faithful God and Father

that nothing will separate us from his love.

All creatures are so completely in his hand

that without his will they can neither move nor be moved.



There are many gospel assurances in the book of Romans and living by faith alone. In Romans 5, Paul weaves together the truth of salvation in Jesus through faith that is secure in the past, present, and future. Since we have been justified through faith, we have been reconciled to God; we were once enemies because of the rebellion of sin, but now we are peaceful friends.

Justification is a legal declaration that our standing before God has been made right because of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. He has saved us by his blood. Justification has legal and relational implications, like the adoption process in our courts. It confirms our place in God’s family, and we receive the grace of living in that fellowship.

God gives us the grace we need each day to withstand suffering and persevere, becoming more and more Christ-like in this process called sanctification. And all of this leads to the virtue of hope. Hope is typically used in our conversation as desiring something to happen but is not certain, such as, “I hope tomorrow is sunny” or “I hope our basketball team can advance to the finals.”

Except when the Bible uses the word ‘hope,’ it is an objective truth that is reliable. Hope is an assurance, even if it is not fully experienced now. We can be confident that God will make good on His promises and that nothing will separate us from his love (Rom. 8:38–39).

Dig Deeper

God assures us that our hope will not be put to shame because He has given us the Holy Spirit (Rom 5:5). In Ephesians 1:14, Paul calls the Holy Spirit the downpayment from God, guaranteeing our inheritance and the complete fulfillment of the redemption of His people. Just like a downpayment on the house promises the full purchase in the future, so too is the Holy Spirit, a seal for objective hope.

In Romans 5, Paul assures us that our hope in God will not be put to shame and that we can even boast in the hope of the glory of God (v2). We can boast because it is all God’s doing, and unlike human agreements, He will never default on His payment or fail to follow through.

That is why Christians over the years have likened hope to an anchor. Through the winds and waves of life, hope in God keeps us secure through the storms. Understanding providence helps us put our hope in our faithful God and Father and His eternal plans. As R. C. Sproul once said, “hope is merely faith looking forward.” Keep your faith fixed on Jesus, our anchor set in glory.

  • ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have received justification and reconciliation

  • ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Examine what you put your hopes in, and how God can embolden your confidence in Him



Read the New Testament in a year, a chapter a day - Hebrews 6


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