Friday, February 24, 2006

Perseverance

In Romans 5, this is what it says,

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

I have been learning so much about endurance, or perseverance as another translation puts it. But I am struck by this phrase "more than that"... It says that we have received access to God by faith and we rejoice in the hope of His glory. Okay, follow me here... because then it says "more than that (the hope of the glory of God) we rejoice in our sufferings." More than rejoicing in the the hope of God's glory, they rejoice in suffering! That is unbelievable to me. I am in the midst of physical suffering right now and honestly find it hard to say that I "rejoice" in it, let alone rejoicing in it more than in God's glory. If I stopped reading there, I think I would not know how to respond, but I am thankful that it goes on and kind of explains why.

To produce endurance, character, and hope... God is so much more concerned with my heart and my development than I could ever imagine.

Lord, please give me YOUR perspective of this suffering and pain. Use it for YOUR purposes and to change me. Pin It

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