11/28/23 Hope

READING: Romans 3-7

As a pastor, I’ve walked beside many believers who struggled with physical and emotional illness. Sometimes, I found it hard to watch, especially when the person involved seemed to be walking deeply and faithfully with God. My understanding was skewed, I admit, but I didn’t always understand why faithful people suffered the way they did. Life didn’t always make sense to me. 

But then the Word speaks as it always does. The Apostle Paul called believers to live in joy because we have peace with God and we “rejoice in the hope of the glory of God” (Rom. 5:2); that is, we look forward to the day when we will be with Him eternally.  In this world, though, we face difficulties and afflictions. We wrestle through the kinds of situations and questions I described above. Paul helps us to do that, too, by reminding us, “we also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope” (Rom. 5:3-4).

In that light, we have the hope that is heartfelt assurance that God will use our difficulties to accomplish His plan. Our affliction thus leads to trust and transformation, and our lives become an even greater witness for Christ.

PERSONAL REFLECTION: Are you dealing with a hard time today? 

PRAYER: “Father, I trust Your heart and Your plan.”


+portions first published in 2017

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