Romans 5:2 “And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”
See how God’s peace goes before our suffering and His hope comes out of our suffering. Because we stand firm in His grace, our suffering doesn’t cause us to give up, but to persevere; suffering leads to perseverance in Christ! Ever-growing perseverance develops a strong character; Christ is laying the firm foundation for who we are. Strong identification with Christ brings eternal hope, sealed by God’s love.
1 Peter 4:13 “… be very glad–for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world.”
Richard Rohr says that people “who are in union with both the pain of the world and the love of God, are prepared to read the Bible.” As our mind is changed by our sensitivity to suffering and our acceptance of God’s love for us, we are able to understand God’s Word, know Jesus internally and serve Him outwardly. Sometimes it feels 2 steps forward and 1 step back, as we often first blame God for our suffering, or don’t feel His love in the moment… but if we persevere and willingly take on the mind and character of Christ, He can use and transform our suffering by His great love to lend deeper understanding of His Word and Will, develop our character, and deliver hope.
Photo: Barcelona, Spain