According to Romans 5:1-11, each of us is either God’s child or God’s enemy. Paul’s words offer reassurance to suffering Christians. He wants his readers to know that their misery doesn’t signify that God has rejected them. The apostle reasons that, if Jesus died for us when we were still God’s enemies, he certainly won’t abandon us after we’ve joined his side (see v. 10).
As God’s children we begin to recognize that the path of trials, when traveled with perseverance, improves our character. And God is more interested in our character than in our comfort. Our improved character may be identified as an informed hope and a deepened experience of God’s love (see vv. 3-5). That Christ lives in us becomes apparent when our endurance of suffering differs from that of an unbeliever.
As children of God, we don’t have to react negatively and powerlessly to changing circumstances. Instead, we can respond positively and proactively to Jesus Christ. This new capacity isn’t our creation but God’s. Jesus made this attitude possible at the point where we were most incapacitated, at our worst rather than at our best (see v. 6). Understanding that Jesus came to restore relationships, not to establish another religion, is the key to enjoying reconciliation. As we grow in our relationship to him, God removes anything in us that has separated us from him (see vv. 9-11).
Jesus died for our sins once and for all (see Hebrews 7:27). And he did this while we were helpless, ungodly sinners and enemies of God. Therefore, we can pray confidently, knowing that God’s love for us can’t be diminished by any failure on our part. We can pray for direction and power, knowing that, since we have already “been reconciled,” there’s no doubt that we’ll “be saved through his life” (Romans 5:10).