My family’s first boating trip this season gave us opportunity to try out our worn, but workable, canopy. Although it kept us from getting soaked by the onslaught of rain, it also blocked the mountainous scenery, which challenged our joy quota. But an hour later, when we docked for lunch, the grey clouds gave way to blue sky and sunshine. We felt rejuvenated! My kids, along with my husband, whooped and hollered while playing “King of the Dock” before tubing behind the boat.
Although the apostle Paul experienced dire circumstances with water (deadly storms and shipwrecks), Romans 1:8 suggests one source of his refreshment as he opens this section with thanksgiving and prayer for the reader.
I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world.”
What a great thing to be known for. These faith filled believers shined brightly amidst Rome’s darkened society. Although this Roman capital was artistic, literary, and wealthy, it also bore the stains of immorality and idolatry.
Why did Paul thank God through Jesus Christ?
The emphasis in verse 8 is on Christ being the only mediator between God and man (1Timothy 2:5).
- Love and forgiveness flow from God to us through Christ.
- Our thanks flow to the Father through Christ.
Paul’s Prayer and Desire to Visit Rome
The bulk of Paul’s prayer is in verses 10-15. He wanted to visit the Roman church to: 1) “impart a spiritual gift”—to mutually encourage and strengthen each other through their faith, and 2) help in the gospel harvest among the Gentiles as he had done elsewhere.
Paul obligated himself to teaching and proclaiming Christ his Savior as salvation to all.
Although Paul had prayed to visit Rome, his attempts were waylaid. When he finally did arrive, it was as a prisoner—slapped, shipwrecked, and bitten by a poisonous snake (Acts 28:16). God did, however, answer his request for a safe arrival.
Has God ever surprised you with His timing and/or answers to prayer?
He may answer our prayers in unexpected ways, but the One who reigns in power and wisdom is in control of our storms.