The Message We Need This Restive Season (Romans 10:17)
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. —Romans 10:17
The “festive season” has become the “restive season.”
A time of year which is ideally about celebration and joy, has become a time when we are assailed with messages about the latest products we need to buy. We often succumb and open our wallets for that next thing we simply must have.
You are reading this post the week of “Cyber Monday,” a shopping holiday where Americans spent $6.59 billion last year in just 24 hours. On our phones and in the mall, on our TVs and around our dinner tables, we are constantly receiving messages about the things we need.
Into this season, this week’s Fighter Verse brings a starkly different message. We do need something but it’s not something we can find in a store or order from our phone. We need to be saved. And the only way to receive that salvation is by receiving “the word of Christ.”
Paul quotes the words of the prophet Joel in Romans 10 verse 13, “everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved.” It’s the very same prophecy Peter quoted in his sermon on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:21). Both here in Romans 10 and in Acts 2 the apostles are reminding their listeners that there is something broken. Things are not the way they should be.
And maybe that’s the way it is for you this season—it might not be dissatisfaction because of a lack of material possessions. You might be feeling restive because of broken relationships or other painful experiences in your life.
But how can our broken world receive this salvation? Paul prompts us with a series of questions in verses 14-15. He shows us that people must be sent to preach so that the nations can hear, so that they can believe in, and call on God. This is a need that is common to those who live on the other side of the globe and those who live across the street.
In verse 17 Paul summarizes his argument, “faith comes from hearing.” There is an answer to the brokenness in our world. Our restive hearts can receive peace again. And what is the answer? “Hearing through the word of Christ.” The salvation we need, the peace we desire, is found in the message of the gospel. It is not something that can be made in a factory or discovered in a university, it is from Christ, the King, God’s Son.
This season, Christians have a message people need to hear. The content of that message is from Christ himself. As we approach the office parties and the family gatherings, as we send the Christmas cards and purchase gifts, we must work hard to live and love the message of salvation that is found in Christ. As we live and work and play with people experiencing the restive season, we must love them because the message of salvation is for them. And we must be bold in declaring the message of salvation. The very best gift we can give this season is the gift of peace with God through faith that comes from the word of Christ.
How will you guard your heart against the “restive season” in the weeks to come?
Is there a particular Bible reading plan, section of Scripture to memorize, or devotional book you will commit to reading, to keep your heart focused on the gospel?
Are there particular people in your life that you will commit to praying for this season and seek opportunities to share the gospel of peace with them?
How can you encourage fellow believers to be bold in proclaiming the word of Christ this season?
For another helpful message from John Piper related to Romans 10:17, read “Please Feed Me More! The Cry of Dying Faith.”