Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. ~ Romans 5:1-5 (NIV)
Sixteenth century European explorers were racing to find a way to India and the east. The land route had been cut off; the only option remaining was the sea. One of the first Portuguese navigators to try sailing south around the African continent ran into a storm that nearly tore his ship into pieces. He called that place the Cape of Storms. A few years later when Vasco da Gama arrived at the same location, he was heartened by the fact that they were no longer sailing south but east. His eyes were on the riches of India that lay ahead of him. The place was renamed the Cape of Good Hope.
The human experience has much in common with a stormy sea; we are easily shipwrecked on the rocks of doubt, despair, or temptation. We experience suffering and sadness, pain and loss in our lives. And when we die, we know we will face our Maker to give an accounting to him. At times it may seem that he is already punishing us for the wrong we have done.
But the hope of Christians is not founded on what we can perceive but rather on what God has promised. God’s Word assures us that “there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). Through no merits of our own, but purely through faith in the Son of God who sacrificed himself for us, our guilt has been removed. Justified with God, we now are at peace with him. No matter how turbulent the journey through life is, we know it ends with our loving Savior welcoming us into his heavenly home. Our hope in God’s promises sustains us through the storms of this world.
Lord Jesus, you calmed the stormy sea by speaking a word. Calm my restless heart by reminding me of what you have done and what you promise still to do for me. Amen.