“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 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 5:1-5, NIV
What brings you hope? According to Romans 5, the work of God brings the most hope. However, it costs something. It costs our comfort. When in the midst of suffering it is extremely difficult to continue, at least continue with life as usual. It can be hard going to work; interacting with friends and family; going to parties; going to church.
I am training for a half marathon in November. Yes, it will take me that long to prepare…and even then, we shall see. Right now I’m at the point of running 5 minutes and then walking 3 minutes. I do that 3 times. I can’t tell you how much I want to stop and walk when I reach 3 or 4 minutes. Continuing to run when everything inside me (mostly my lungs) wants to stop is painful! When I’m running with a friend, it’s a lot easier to keep running. On my own? Sometimes I quit and sometimes I don’t. I can tell I’m improving. The stress and struggle is working.
After 6 weeks of training…I have hope.
Has your suffering brought you hope? Has God brought you through something that has created hope and peace? Looking back and remembering what God has done is a good practice. Take time today to remember. You are different today than when you first started your journey with God. Have hope because of the suffering you have been through to give you hope for the suffering you are in now because your God has not abandoned you; He has not forgotten you; He is with you.
Dear Father, you know suffering. You know how our suffering can lead us astray. We ask you boldly today to make yourself known to us in our suffering. Provide your peace and hope in the midst of suffering while we continue to persevere. Amen.