Romans 5:1-11 – Results of Justification
Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.
For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. Indeed, rarely will anyone die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person someone might actually dare to die. But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us. Much more surely then, now that we have been justified by his blood, will we be saved through him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, much more surely, having been reconciled, will we be saved by his life. But more than that, we even boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation
This picture was taken a year ago in Davidson, North Carolina on the campus of Davidson College. This is a shot of the entrance to the prayer labyrinth on campus. This picture was taken the week of one of the most transformative experiences of my life which led to this imago scriptura journey over the last year. It was at that week, while going through a very difficult stage in life that I realized that there was something spiritually powerful that I could experience and share through the lens of a camera. I cannot think of a better picture to reflect this passage from today as well as the last year of my story. I love the line in this part of Romans…
suffering produces endurance, endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.
Walking and praying the labyrinth is a process that is not entirely intuitive – it feels like a maze, but there’s nowhere you can get stuck. It feels like its hard to get to the middle, but if you keep walking, you always reach the center, the heart of the labyrinth. The steps that Paul describes feel much like this – they are ones that we are not called to stop in any of those places and they lead to the heart of hope.
I know that this is not the story of everyone going through a time of challenge and suffering – there are many times that feel that one feels they have developed enough endurance and character without yet getting to the hope. I know that my story is not done – there are still times of struggle and times that I just wish weren’t happening, but I can say that there is hope that is at the center. I am thankful that I have found it through the lens, seeing the world and seeing Scripture in a way that has transformed my life and in a way that I am thankful has touched the lives of others.