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Pastor's Letter

Pastor's Letter - June 2023: Choosing Joy

Roman's 5 : 1 - 11

Peace and hope

5 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we[a] have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we[b] boast in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we[c] also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

6 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

9 Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! 10 For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! 11 Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

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Most of us don’t choose a difficult life, but it chooses us. I am pretty sure you would agree with this statement. But we can choose our response to it. As someone once said, "Pain is inevitable but misery is optional.” Yet, when difficulties arise, misery often seems to be the only option.


Recently I had a long conversation with a Christian friend of mine who was physically and emotionally exhausted because of extreme pressures. A depressed mood engulfed him. When I asked him how he was doing, he said grimly, “Well, joy's certainly no option!” I replied, “You're right! Joy is no option. It is your responsibility.” Shocked, my friend said, “You talk about joy as if it were a duty.” I said, “You are right again!” I explained that we have a duty to God, ourselves, and others to overcome our moods and to battle through to joy.


In Romans 5, Paul gave these reasons for joy, and I would like to remind us all about it.

We have peace with God through Christ, access to grace, and hope for future glory (v. 1-2).


We have an assurance that tribulation produces perseverance, which in turn builds character and leads to hope (v. 3-4).


We have hope that doesn't disappoint because God's love has been poured into our hearts (v. 5).


Fill your mind with these truths. Then, no matter what your circumstances, you can choose joy.


Amen.


With love and prayers,


Christvin Edbarg

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