We rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.
Romans 5:2-5 (NIV)
Births and funerals. Health and disease. It seems that life has its contrasts. On one hand we have the promised land, on the other we have the wilderness. None of us go through life unscathed. We all have trials and difficulties. Some self inflicted, others inflicted upon us. Paul knew that the temptation during difficulties is to complain and give up, so he wrote to the church in Rome to encourage them during their time of persecution. Paul admits to them that on one hand we have our hope of heaven and on the other hand we have suffering in this life; but he instructs us in both circumstances to rejoice. I understand the rejoicing in the hope of heaven, but why would Paul say that we should rejoice in our sufferings? Paul says we should rejoice in our sufferings because of “hope.” Hope is the word that makes all the difference. Our suffering produces perseverance, which produces character, which results in hope. But what really makes hope spectacular is what Paul writes next. Five words: “Hope does not disappoint us!” Hope in Christ will never fail. Today, you may have disappointment. You may have difficulties. But friend, today you also have hope!
Father, today, where there is darkness, help me see hope. Where there is pain, help me feel hope. Where there is disappointment, help me realize hope and where there is doubt, fear and anxiety, help me know hope. Father, thank You that You promised Your hope will not disappoint us. I receive Your hope today. In Jesus’ name.
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