“Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope.”
Every time Laura had a setback or disappointment in school, her mother would listen to her complaints and whines patiently, then ask, “So – what did you learn from this?” While she was in high school, this question would infuriate Laura. But by the time she reached college, Laura began to see wisdom in her mother’s question.
What her mother had made her face bluntly in high school taught Laura how to see problems on the horizon and solve them before they arrived. Now, as a teacher, she asks her students the same question.
What can we learn from our troubles in life? In Romans 5, which Paul wrote toward the end of his life, he speaks to believers about what they may suffer as a result of their belief in Jesus Christ as the Messiah. And he knew from personal experience how hard the road could be. He wanted to prepare the Romans for what they would suffer and how, in the long run, it would lead to hope.
Most of us today will never be tortured for our faith the way first-century believers were. Yet we will go through rough seasons, some of which may take us into unfathomable despair. So we, too, can find comfort in Paul’s words. Being able to learn from hardships, failures and trials in life is a gift, one that pushes us to mature not only in life but in our faith and our hope for a brighter, secure future.
Today’s One Thing
Touch base with a friend who’s struggling and offer to pray with them for wisdom and hope.