The Reason for Trials
Before facing a major trial, most Christians seem to believe they have a pretty good grasp on Romans 5:3-4 and could easily apply it to their lives when a difficult times comes. Then, everything changes. Maybe they experience the loss of a loved one, start having problems in their marriage, or get a phone call from the doctor saying "You have cancer."
It's in these moments that we often realize how weak we are ... and those can be some dark times. But in these moments, we have a choice. We can turn our backs on Christianity, run from reality, or accept that our circumstances are from God.
We have to persevere. We have to trust that God--who knows the number of hairs on our heads--cares enough about us to take care of us, no matter what. And we have to remind ourselves of that each morning.
Every day that we endure trials we grow in our abilities to persevere through difficult times. Persevering is something we're commanded to do often in Scripture. So growing in perseverance is nothing to take lightly!
Paul tells us that perseverance we gain from suffering also produces character. As we face our sufferings and live through them, we become stronger people. We develop firm beliefs, and we are reminded of our own strength. People who have endured suffering can be less easily swayed by the opinions of others. They can persevere through difficult moral conflicts and temptations because they have persevered through struggles. That's a precious gift that each of us receives as we go through storms in our lives.
Finally, we are told that character produces hope. We have hope for the future and for each day because we know that our God is watching out for us. And Paul tells us this hope will not disappoint.
All of our suffering is ultimately producing a hope that is fulfilled every day in Jesus.
There's nothing better for us to glory in!
Prayer: Dear God, thank you for using my suffering to make me more like Your Son. Help me to persevere, grow in my character, and find hope in You. Give me faith that You are building me into a better person through my trials. Thank you for Your grace when I fail. Amen.