Life in the Joy Lane

Aivazovky, “9th Wave”

Rom 5:1-11
June 15, 2008

I think the rock song “Life in the Fast Lane” has some verbage in it about losing one’s mind. That has certainly been my experience. I’ve found a better lane: the joy lane. How about changing lanes with me? I think you’ll like it.

In the joy lane, there is peace with God (Rom 5:1). This peace comes from knowing that we have been justified before God through our faith in Jesus Christ dying on the cross for our sins. Because of this our lives are now framed not by guilt or shame but by grace. We are now free to determine for ourselves how to live our lives as a thank you to God for what he has already done for us (v. 2). Yet even further, we live with an enduring hope grounded in the glory of God. God’s glory is going to prevail whether the stock market crashes, the oil stops flowing, or the Middle East erupts into war.

What’s more, we now have a way forward through our present pain – whether it be a broken marriage, a family member with cancer, or any other suffering. The way forward is this: pain produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, the very same hope which is grounded in God’s glory (v. 4). God’s glory is going to be manifest in us – through hope – from within the very pain that seems so ready to overwhelm us in this moment. The Holy Spirit, now present in our hearts, is our guarantee against any doubts that may arise (v. 5).

Now, how do we know this isn’t just a bunch of religious mumbo jumbo representing a delusion of hope? We know because Christ died on the cross and was raised from the dead. This is a historical fact which can only be skirted if one presupposes that history by definition excludes the manifestation of the supernatural in the natural world. I choose a different presupposition: that God exists, that he has manifested himself in the world, first through Christ, and then through the hope within each of us who believe in him.

Life in the joy lane – let the traffic of life flow on.

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