Romansby David Cook
Paul urges the Romans to literally “co-agonise” with him in prayer (v. 30). The word he uses describes a soldier who joins in the defensive line. Such is the nature of prayer: it is seen as part of a battle, a struggle for the gospel.
They are to pray:
Paul probably wrote the letter to the Romans during his 18-month stay in Corinth (see Acts 18:11). Luke’s record in Acts tells us how these prayers were answered.
According to Acts 21, the Jerusalem church accepted the collection and Paul was delivered from the unbelievers. His deliverance came from the unbelieving Roman garrison (Acts 21:30–32), a most unexpected source.
Did he make it to Rome? Yes, but it was not easy. He came via court appearance, storm, shipwreck, snakebite, and under chains, as the guest of the Roman government. He had appealed to Caesar and so the Romans brought him, under arrest, to Rome. We cannot be certain whether Paul ever reached Spain, as he hoped.
God hears and answers the prayers of His people, but often in unexpected ways. You may be praying about a matter now, and you can be sure that God hears your prayer. He will answer in one way or another. His answer may well be unexpected, as it was in the case of Paul. Paul follows his benediction about hope (v. 13) with a further benediction about peace (v. 33).
Traditionally, letters of the first century began with wishing their readers peace and prosperity; Paul changed that to “grace and peace” (1:7). Having made it clear that peace and hope are direct results of God’s provision of righteousness (5:1–2), it is fitting that Paul should conclude this section of his letter by focusing on these two qualities. Justification reminds us that God’s wrath has been spent and that He is at peace with us, and that what God has begun, in providing us with a righteous standing, He will complete in our glorification. That is our hope.
How important to your daily life is Christian hope?
How important is it to you to know that God is at peace with you? Why?