Second Friday of Advent
From Suffering to Hope
Read Romans 5: 2 - 5
“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…” The Apostle Paul is saying that since we are at peace with God, then we have access into his grace, and the end result is hope.
Have you ever wondered why you experience struggles, trials, and suffering in your life? Have you ever asked God, “Why is this happening to me? I don’t deserve this?”
There was a time in my ministry when I asked this question regularly. During this trial my family and I were devastated by the actions of a few people who said and did some very hurtful things to us. We are still reeling from the effects of this difficult time. During this trial I was continually brought back to Romans 5:2- 5, “Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” Thankfully I was able to find peace and joy during this time. How? Through the power of God’s love and Holy Spirit. Even during the difficulties God was at work in my life and in my heart, and this brought hope. I will admit it was much easier to have hope than it was to rejoice in despair, but now I see what the Apostle Paul was trying to say. Going through pain, suffering and difficult situations is never fun, but if we are able to view our present situation through the eyes of faith ultimately we will be strengthened in patience, character and hope.
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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.
Preview or purchase Jeff's Books