The Guidance of the Gospel for Families in Difficulty
The gospel gives guidance to families in difficulty.
The recent coronavirus lockdown called for families to stay home and stay together for an extended period of time. What was that like for you? What were the conversations? Was there a lot of internal support within the family, or did everyone seem annoyed?
In Romans 5, Paul speaks to a group of people who are facing increasing persecution. After explaining the power of the gospel to save us from the wrath of God, Paul begins to share the transformative effect of the gospel on our beliefs and behaviors. The gospel not only grants the lost soul salvation, but it gives us a new relationship with God that gets us through difficult times.
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.Romans 5:1-2
For a Christ-centered family, the gospel gives us three realities in our relationship with God that will support us through difficulty.
1) Peace with God
If you couch the coronavirus outbreak within the gospel narrative, you understand that it is symptomatic of the curse of sin. God created a world in which His images could be fruitful and multiply. Because of sin, we now live in a fallen creation that experiences sickness, separation, and death. A deadly virus reminds us that we need redemption through Jesus Christ. And for all the redeemed, one day, Christ will return to make all things new.
For the Christ-centered family, there should be a pervasive sense that this family knows the Lord. Even if we lose our life to a virus, we know that because of Jesus, coronavirus has not conquered us. In the lockdown, there was stress, but was there also the peace that your family knows the Lord?
2) Access to God
The news was discouraging, and social media was filled with opinions that lacked wisdom as to how to navigate a difficult situation. But the good news of the gospel has granted us access into God's grace. Did your family go to the internet, or did it go to God for guidance?
As your family walked daily through the lockdown, was there a progression of prayer? Did you seek wisdom from God's Word? Did your family gather before God to worship Him?
3) A Reason to Rejoice
To rejoice in the glory of God is the realization that the situation is not just about a virus. The Christ-centered family sees every crisis as an opportunity to proclaim the glory of God. Whether we survive or die if we are locked down, and from most things locked out, we will stay faithful. It is all for the glory of God!
No family is immune from difficulty. But if we know Christ, it's different. There is a belief that both supports and guides us. It's not just about what you're going through, but you are guided by what you have been given in Jesus Christ.
Bible Study and Challenge
Read Romans 5:1-11.
- List the three privileges from Romans 5:1-2 that we have been given because we have been justified by faith.
- How does Romans 5:1-2 fit into the context of Romans 5:6-11?
- List the reasons we have to rejoice according to this passage.
Go through today's devotional and evaluate your family's response to crisis. Does your family demonstrate that it knows the Lord, seeks guidance from God, and that there is a reason to rejoice that supersedes the circumstances? Why or why not? How do you demonstrate those qualities in your personal walk with Christ through crisis? Ask the Lord to grow you in these graces so that you can demonstrate them and share them with your family.