Updated: Sep 24, 2019
It's hard for me to even type that title. Not because I don't believe it, but because it overwhelms my soul. You see, it has been a season of crushing disappointment for me and I wonder how many of you have ever felt the same?
I was joking with a friend that I was really tired of being surprised. Not, "oh that's wonderful news!" surprised, but "I can't believe I didn't see that coming" surprised. And it makes me mad at myself for holding on to the possibility that circumstances will be different this time because that has not been my reality. My reality has been consistent with the truth that people will fail and let us down. Even those who seem perfect will one day prove their humanity and I am positive that inevitability holds true for me as well. After all, we are only human.
Praise God he holds the final word on Hope.
So, I came across this passage the other day and I know it was not accidental, but divinely ordained at just the right time because I tend to spiral. Anyone else?? I had one defeat after another hit me until I was convinced I just couldn't do it anymore. I was seriously contemplating a way to lesson my exposure or avoid it all together when God stepped in.
Romans 5 begins by telling us how because of the work of Jesus - his life, death and resurrection - we can have peace with God, and that we can stand confidently in this work as we look forward to future glory. Then the passage veers in a way that seems contradictory to our human understanding.
It reveals that we can rejoice when we run into problems. Why? Because they develop something called endurance. This endurance matures our character by making us stronger. Then it says something very unusual. That this strength of character that comes from developing endurance during our trials, strengthens our confidence in the hope we have of our salvation.
So, I'm underwhelmed and slightly confused just reading back through that so let's go slow.
Problems develop endurance in us.
Endurance brings maturity to our character.