The word of the day….perseverance. Sometimes I like that word and other times I don’t. Well this happens to be one of those days that I don’t like that word. Sometimes I just don’t feel like persevering! Sometimes I feel like I just don’t have the strength to persevere! …And I’m like a little child throwing a temper tantrum at God!
So, now my thoughts in this thing called cancer have taken a journey from, “why my daddy?”, as undeserving as he is, to “why do good people have to experience such bad things?” As if God’s previous lessons weren’t enough for me, I continued to question. Why would a just and loving God allow his children to go through such awful things? Why do we have to persevere through it anyway? And on and on I go with that little temper tantrum that seems to have gotten the best of me.
Gently, the Lord took my hand and it was as if He was saying, “Open my Word and you’ll see.” It was one of those moments when you just open your bible and there it is staring right back at you. Now I won’t say this happens to me often, actually it is a very rare occurrence, but I believe it was what I needed to hear at just the right time. The passage is from Romans 5:1-5.
Vs. 1 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
Ok, let’s stop right there…this is a beautiful picture of a believer‘s relationship with God! We are God’s children…and if we have placed our faith in Him, we are at peace with Him and can be at peace with any situation we are in. We were once considered His enemies, but the word says we now are His friends!
Vs. 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.
So, not only are we at peace with God, but because of our faith we have gained complete access to His presence and His grace, and we have confidence that He has a purpose for our lives! We can rejoice in this marvelous hope!
Vs. 3-4 Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.
Hold the phone! Did I read that right? Did it just tell me to “rejoice”? Certainly God would not require us to rejoice because we are suffering! As I continued to meditate on the scripture, I decided to read the footnote in my bible and it was just like a light bulb that lit up in my brain and I got it! We immediately assume that we are to rejoice “because OF” our sufferings, to be happy that we are going through this trial. But the text actually reads, “IN” our sufferings. What a difference one little word makes! Paul is not urging us to be happy that we are suffering. He simply is encouraging us to make the best of our situation, because no matter what…we win! Part of God’s purpose for us in our trials is to develop perseverance, character, and hope. I once heard it said that God is more interested in our character than He is our circumstances.
Vs. 5 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.
Hope. We suffer so we might persevere, we persevere so we might gain character, we gain character and it gives us hope. And hope does not disappoint! No matter what we are going through, we have hope and it’s promised to us by the One who has poured His love into us through His Holy Spirit!
I have never met anyone who has not suffered in some way. I can’t think of anyone who has never experienced pain, or has never gone through some sort of trial. James 1:12 says, “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him.” There’s that word again, “perseverance”. Good people suffer so they might gain character and hope through perseverance and the result of that perseverance is “the crown of life” that is promised to us by God‘s Word. We persevere in our trials and we gain eternal life in the end! We win!