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 (NIV)
What do you know? What do I know about what? What do you know about difficult trials and painful suffering? I know that I would like to avoid difficult trials and painful suffering as much as possible. How about a more serious answer? I am serious. I don’t like difficult trials and painful suffering. I get that. How about a more realistic answer? You do know that you will go through difficult trials and painful suffering in life? I went through difficult trials and painful suffering. You will too. Difficult trials and painful suffering are part of life in this sin broken world that you live in. Yes, I know. That doesn’t mean that I must like or enjoy difficult trials and painful suffering, does it? That is a very good question. You didn’t think it was a good question when you asked it, did you? No, I did not.
What has happened to you when you have gone through difficult trials and painful suffering? I have drawn near to you. I have relied on you to help me through difficult trials and painful suffering. Have I helped you? Yes, you have been very near to me when I have gone through trials and suffering. Have you come to know me in a deeper way during your trials and suffering in life? Yes, I have come to know your love for me in a deeper way. Is that something to rejoice about? Can you give thanks because you have come to know me in a deeper way through trials and suffering? Yes, I can. Then trials and suffering are not all bad? I can bring great good even out of trials and suffering? Yes, you can. I’m glad that you know that.
What else have I developed in you as you have gone through difficult trials and painful suffering? You have made me stronger as I have faced resistance. You have developed perseverance within me. As you have developed perseverance in me you have also strengthened my character. What has grown in you as your perseverance has developed and your character has been strengthened? Hope has grown in me. Why is that? I have had hope grow in me, because I have known that you were working in my life to make me into the person you have called me to be. To do that, what have I been using? You have been using my trials and suffering to mold and shape my life. Yes, I have. Why would I do that? You are molding and shaping my life because you love me. Yes, I do. You can rejoice in that, can’t you. Yes, I can. Yes, I will. Yes, I am. That is very good.
Lord, I am not a fan of trials and suffering. Help me to endure every one of them. Develop perseverance, character and hope in me as I rely on you. I will rejoice in the work you will do in me, through every difficulty. Make me into the person you want me to be. Amen
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