|W||Romans 5:2-5 New International Version (NIV)
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. 3 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.
|O||Interesting points from this passage of scripture:
· We have peace with God through Jesus Christ
· We gain access to Jesus through faith–just BELIEVE in Jesus
· We boast in the glory of God
· We “glory” in our sufferings
· The products of suffering: perseverance, character, & hope
· Hope does not put us to shame, because of God’s love
|R||I’m not even gonna lie. I hate it when life gets tough. I consider myself to be a strong woman, but sometimes life can get a bit overwhelming. Bringing me to my knees. Sometimes bringing my face to the ground. Troubles coming from every side. Bringing even the strongest person, like myself, to a breaking point.
With my eyes to heaven, I have to ask God why?
Why me? Why my family? Why my friends?
Things can get extremely confusing—especially when you try to live right.
However, the scripture calls for me to “rejoice in my sufferings” (Romans 2:3). How in the world can you rejoice when you are in so much pain? Experiencing so much hurt? Disappointment? Sadness? To the human mind, rejoicing in the midst of troubles seems irrational…quite stupid. Cause who in the world wants to throw a party when all hell is breaking lose around you? The realistic response to trouble is to react: get angry, take revenge, and in extreme cases throw in the towel. Life can get crazy like that.
But you see, I am maturing.
As I continuously go through trials and tribulations in life, I am learning how to be happy about my sufferings. Why? Because through the hard times, I learn how to persevere. Through the hard times, my character develops. Through the hard times, I put my hope and trust in God, which ultimately increases my faith.
Through the storms, I rely on the following to keep my head above water:
1. Pray—Praying is simply a conversation with God. I keep it all the way real. Letting God know exactly how I feel. Then, I listen for His response.
2. Seek God—God speaks in many ways, including: His written Word, confirmation through other believers, praise and worship songs, nature and His creation, and the Holy Spirit (you know that still small voice that speaks to you…nudging you to do the right thing?)
3. Be patient—Sometimes we will never get an answer to why things happen to us, but God is always there to carry us through the storm.
4. Fellowship with like-minded people—The company you keep can make or break you in any situation. So, if the people you hang out with don’t point you to Jesus, leave them alone! Being in the house of the Lord is also the best place to build your faith.
5. Don’t Give Up—One way to keep the faith is to make a list of all the things that are going well in your life. Like those blessings we take for granted (re: life, salvation, family, friends, etc.). The old folks used to say Count Your Blessings!
I’m telling you, the last two weeks have been CRAZY for me and my immediate family. Applying these practical steps to our lives helped us to make it through.
Life is hard. Please teach me how to maintain a positive attitude in the midst of difficult challenges.
Pain does not always feel good. It hurts. But through the pain, I learn how to persevere. I learn how to become a better person. I ultimately learn how to put my hope in You. The outcome of my trials outweighs the pain!
Help me, Lord! Teach me how to embrace the good and the bad!
In Jesus name,