Advancing to the Next Round
More than that we rejoice in sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame. (Romans 5:3-5, ESV)
Our son in law was waiting to see if he had advanced to the next round of interviews for a teaching position he was wanting. We were all rooting and praying for him knowing he is more than qualified and would contribute so much to the school he was wanting to be on staff. When he finally got the word he had advanced to the second round we were all elated and rejoicing with and for him.
In Romans Paul writes about advancement also. A spiritual or character advancement of sorts. He says suffering—as unpleasant as it is—can be a time that can be spiritually and characteristically fruitful. Paul’s letter can make us stop and take a personal assessment. Asking ourselves where we are on this ladder; what rung are we on? Has our suffering produced endurance? Has an enduring nature turned out to be character building? Has a strengthened character turned into a spirit of hope? That hope which is grounded in Christ which cannot disappoint or put us to shame? Paul reminds us that it should not be our goal to escape suffering, but we should make it our prayer and aim to advance through it. Let’s Pray,
Jesus, it’s our natural instinct to avoid suffering whenever possible. That’s understandable. But Paul teaches us through his letter that our greatest aim should be to advance both spiritually and characteristically whenever we suffer. May we make this our fervent prayer and desire. Amen
Reflection and Questions for Soul-Tending:
Does Paul’s letter make you view suffering differently? Change your perspective about suffering?
How will you incorporate today’s message into your plan of Soul-Care?