“…And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.”Romans 5:2b-4/NIV
There are many ways we can learn valued and helpful lessons that can make us better in some way. If someone has previously made bad decisions that led to painful and miserable outcomes, this will lead to hopelessness, anxiety, and depression. It is hard to imagine how we can “glory” in our sufferings and be hopeful for a tomorrow filled with promise and prosperity. I recall a pastor years ago reflecting that God can take our mistakes and turn this into good when we repent, regroup and redirect our priorities back to God. Let’s explore further!
In life, surprises often catch us off guard, and we are forced to respond the best way we know how and hope for the best. Hardship and suffering of this nature are not what we desire, and it is doubtful that we would be optimistic. As challenges of this nature are faced, a person may need to possess a lot of patience and persevere through this challenging season. Their perseverance and character may be all they can pull from to provide them with hope!
Thinking about the focal verses also makes me think of a parallel passage in James (1:2-4/NIV): “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” The passages in James and Romans seem to encourage suffering, leading to more incredible Christian stamina, character, and hope for the future.
I am not someone who desires to endure painful seasons in life. I could be doing all the right things, sticking to God’s plan for me, but still, the storms occur. Knowing that I am walking with God and His Son Jesus Christ, I am surrounded by the best team I could have, which offers me hope and confidence! Psalm 23 also encourages me that as I walk through the darkest valley, I should fear no evil because God is with me. His rod and staff, they comfort me; He anoints my head with oil, my cup overflows; surely goodness and mercy will follow me the remaining days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever!
That Psalm reminds me that God is with me, and when I consider the passages in Romans and James, I have hope for tomorrow when the storms continue to rage.
Self-reflection consideration: Can I find glory in my suffering knowing that God is with me?
Many blessings to you!