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“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 5:3-5
The glory of fixing our eyes on Jesus and celebrating God in the spectacular moments of answered prayers and the evidence of his power fills our heart with awe and the assurance that God has us in the palm of his hand. And the same glory comes as set fix our eyes on the Lord when our world lies in a decimated heap. It’s hope that doesn’t disappoint because it’s hope, not placed in how well things turn out, but in God. This passage isn’t telling us to rejoice for our sufferings, but to rejoice in them.
Sufferings are a natural part of this life and produce amazing fruit in our lives if we yield to God. Sometimes adversity comes to us as consequences of our own making, other’s decisions, or just because this world is crippled with sin. These cause profound agony in our heart, and we have two choices when it comes to suffering. We can become hard and angry, or we can develop through perseverance, character, and hope.
Hope is the outcome on the other side of suffering because hope is rooted in God’s love.
If I feel disappointed by God, then that’s a clue that I may have some false misunderstanding of God’s love for me. God’s love is not dependent on how well things in my life turn out, it is dependent on God. He is light, peace, love, hope, kindness, bread of life, the rock I run to, the shelter I hide myself in, and the warrior who fights for me.
When we turn to him in our suffering, we are given the grace to walk through suffering to hope. And hope does not and cannot disappoint us because hope is rooted in God’s love.
Heavenly Father, walk with us through our sufferings. Show us yourself as you grow in us perseverance, character, and hope. Help us see your love in our sufferings. You do not disappoint, help me surrender my expectations and yield to your guidance and help. In Jesus’ name, Amen.