Day 16

“Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. 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.” – Romans‬ 5‬:3‬-5‬ NIV‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

I am thinking this might be a post that is short on wisdom and long on questions. The reason for this is that above is one of those passages in the Bible that puts me at a crossroads. It’s difficult to talk about suffering as it is, but to “glory in our sufferings”? That’s a tough one for me to digest. Once I start to accept it, however, I can see the progression to perseverance, character, and hope, but even all that leaves me with more questions than answers.

First off, my sense of suffering is that it only produces perseverance if we choose to fight through it. Suffering, when we resolve to give into it, produces hopelessness and despair. Second, perseverance only produces character if we allow it to shape us. Being persistent in trying to accomplish something difficult is a wonderful trait, but when it tips into stubbornness it can really hold us back. And character, while it can be the most important human trait that we can possess, only produces hope if we choose to see the good that is in us, in others and in the world.

The next question I keep asking myself is, “why would hope put us to shame?” Maybe it’s because of what it took to achieve that hope? Jesus was tested, questioned, betrayed, and beaten. And in His final days He still stood in front of a crowd made up of people just like us and faced the outcome that he knew was coming. All in the name of reconciling us with the God that created us. It’d be only natural for us humans to hold onto that shame through the ages.

Until you really think about why He did what He did. He did it because He LOVES us. He loves each one of us more than anything else there is. He loves us so much that if you or I were the only person on the face of this Earth, He still would have laid down His life for each one of us. Jesus took that cross onto his back and walked it up that hill, for us. He took onto himself all of our sins and laid down his life, for us. He rose and walked out of that tomb and ascended to sit by his father, for us. Jesus’s greatest gift might not be that He saved us through His death, but that He showed us we are worth saving.

1 Comment

  1. I love your posts so much and only have one suggestion: you should update your photo of one with long hair. I didn’t recognize the other guy 🤪




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