The letter to the church at Rome is Paul’s attempt at laying out a framework for understanding who God is and what God has done through Jesus. He is writing to a community of believers made up of both Jews and Gentiles who are literally being made to suffer for their faith, but who are also trying to figure out what it means to live in relationship with God and with each other.
The triune God (Parent, Son, and Spirit) is the very model of community – of the interconnectedness of humankind with God, with each other, and with the world. In this reality, we can expect a life of faith to be a mix of peace, hope, suffering, and love in equal measure. The peace, hope, and love do not blot out the suffering, but instead make it bearable.
Think of a time in your life when you were suffering. Was there a sense of peace, hope, and love in the midst of that suffering? What was the source of that sense? Who or what was the vehicle for it?
Offer a prayer of thanksgiving for the peace, hope, and love that has brought you through difficult times.