And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope…” vss. 3-4Romans 5:1-5
Paul relished the gift of faith that he had been given in Christ Jesus, but he never imagined that his faith would make him immune to suffering. In fact, we could even say that he relished the suffering that had come his way as a servant of the Lord. That’s why he tells the Romans that their sufferings will open up for them all the blessings of faith. And that’s still the way it works in our world. We blossom and grow spiritually, not when everything is going well, but when things seem to be falling apart. Time and again we’ve observed fellow believers emerge from the wreckage of their lives as changed persons and carrying unshakable hope for the future. That doesn’t mean that ugly stuff is always good for us–these miracles of resilience only take place as a by-product of faith. But when faith is present there is nothing that cannot be overcome, and inspirational stories abound. Again, this doesn’t mean we should adopt masochism as a lifestyle. We don’t have to search for ways to suffer–suffering comes our way without invitation, and some folks even get more than their share! But when it comes, it will always be faith that brings the victory!
Thought for the Day: What constitutes real suffering in our lives?