The Apostle Paul continues, “More than that (obtaining access to God) we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope…” Here he is saying since we are at peace with God, and since we have access into his grace, the end result will be hope.
Have you ever wondered why you experience certain struggles, trials and suffering in your life? Have you ever asked God, “why is THIS happening to me? I don’t deserve this.”? I have.
There was a time in my ministry where I went through one of the most difficult phases of my life. Some people whom I trusted and respected strong armed me into resigning from a ministry position. My family and I were (still are) devastated. I am not going to go into details but during this trial I continually asked God why this was happening. I was brought back to Romans 5:3, 4 numerous times. Because of the work God was doing in my life I was able to rejoice in my trial. Why? God was and still is working in my life. I was/am learning patience, I was/am learning to trust in God and the best part was I had hope. The hope I had was not in the temporary but it was in God and the promise of his future glory.
Hope in the Bible is not synonymous to crossing your fingers and wishing for the best. The Bible defines hope as having absolute assurance that something will happen even though it is still future. It simply means being certain a future event will happen. In the Christians case our hope is in the future glory that God has promised us. None of us here on earth have received our future glory, we will have to wait. But we can live in certainty that God’s promise to those who trust in Jesus Christ alone will inherit an eternal glory that He has prepared for His children.
When we see our trials and sufferings through the lens of hope then it all makes sense. Look throughout the Old and New Testament at the men and women of faith who endured hardships, trials and suffering and were able to rejoice in these times. They were able to endure because their hope was in the promise of God’s future glory.
Are you facing a challenge in your life today? Rejoice, because your challenge will produce patience. Your patience will build character. Ultimately your patience and character will result in hope even amidst your trial.
Jeff has been in ministry for well over two decades. He currently serves as Campus Pastor at West Bradenton Baptist Southside Campus in Bradenton, Florida.
Jeff Has authored an Advent Devotional (The Advent of Jesus) and a devotional on the book of James (James: Where Faith and Life Meet). Both are available on Amazon.
He is married to Carrie and they have four children, Micaiah, Gabe, Simon, and Berea.
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