Monday Devotional: March 6, 2023



Bible Reading: Romans 5:1-5 (CEB)

1 Therefore, since we have been made righteous through his faithfulness,[a] we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 We have access by faith into this grace in which we stand through him, and we boast in the hope of God’s glory. 3 But not only that! We even take pride in our problems, because we know that trouble produces endurance, 4 endurance produces character, and character produces hope. 5 This hope doesn’t put us to shame, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

A few years ago, I returned to the home I grew up in to clean out my childhood bedroom. The closet was still crammed with trophies, certificates, and medals I’d accumulated as a teenager. These artifacts reminded me of many of my accomplishments early in life and signaled that I’d had some achievements to boast about.

We usually associate the word boast with accomplishments or achievements; we earn the right to boast. But in this passage, Paul turns the word on its head, using boast in a nearly unrecognizable way. Paul says that because we are people of faith, “we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God.” This hope of sharing life with God now and forever is not something we have acquired through effort or accomplishment; it is a gift that comes through faith, a result of Jesus Christ’s accomplishment on the cross. The hope that comes through a relationship with God is not a trophy we can add to our collection.

Paul also says that we can “boast in our suffering.” Far from being an accomplishment, suffering is a trophy most of us would want to return. Though there is no reason to seek suffering or to believe that suffering is God’s will, Paul contends that when suffering does come, we can receive it graciously, knowing that through it God can shape us into people capable of hope.

Western culture is obsessed with achievement. We thirst for accomplishment and recognition. In the midst of that, Paul offers a challenge: Can we imagine letting go of pride in our accomplishments to find instead pride in the gift of hope God gives us through Christ?


God, help me discover in you that my deepest gladness will not come through my own achievements but through the gift of hope I discover in faith. Amen.

By L. Rogers Owens, The Upper Room Disciplines 2023, page 87.