Scripture Reading: Romans 5:1-11 (click to read)
Key Verses: “We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.” Romans 5:3-5 (NLT)
The title of this devotional comes from the movie Finding Nemo, a story of a fish, Marlin, and his journey to find his lost son, Nemo. Marlin went through many different challenges and trials before he was able to get to his son. Marlin is accompanied by his friend Dory, and as they encounter problems, she encourages Marlin to just keep going, “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming...”There was great joy at the end of the film, as Marlin’s perseverance paid off and he found his son. He succeeded in a seemingly impossible task.
Paul is writing to the believers in Rome, to encourage them. As the Church was starting up, Paul knew the Christians were facing many challenges. He reminds them, as followers of Jesus, there will be trials and challenges ahead. But Paul says that as we face the hardships of life, remember that for those who live a life of trust in God and obedience in Him, there is the joy and hope of salvation in the end.
I know, it’s easier said than done. Thankfully we aren’t meant to follow Jesus alone. Marlin was not alone on his quest to find his son. He had a friend to encourage him, even though, at times, he didn’t think his friend was helpful at all. Sometimes, we need a reminder, whether we like it or not, there is a community of believers out there that want to love and help you, who want to encourage you, and say to you, “just keep swimming.”
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I pray for those who are reading this devotional today, who need to be filled with your love, who are going through rough times, who are in need of your healing. We pray that you send someone to walk alongside them to encourage and help them to endure the hardships that they may be facing. If that person should be me, please guide me in your wisdom and compassion. In Jesus’ name, Amen