Take Hope

Romans 5:3 And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance (endurance); 4 and perseverance, character (proven character); and character, hope. 5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

Glory in tribulations?? I am supposed to be happy when bad stuff comes my way? Doesn’t make sense. I want to be pissed off, angry- I want to blame someone- sometimes, I want to blame God…

I want you to notice the circular approach to verses three and four…and understand that we must look at this approach through the lens of our faith (trust) in God. First, understand that we are living in a morally bankrupt pain machine called Earth and bad things happen (it rains on the just and the unjust Matt 5:45).

This tribulation produces perseverance (endurance)

Perseverance produces character (proven character)

Character produces hope…

And hope does not disappoint

Tribulation produces perseverance- Through our trials and temptations we learn to persevere- to endure through them. How? Through prayer and fellowship with God. A song I am singing at church today sums it up well (from What a Friend We Have In Jesus)

Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged
Take it to the Lord in prayer

Can we find a friend so faithful
Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness
Take it to the Lord in prayer

1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it (endure, persevere).

Perseverance produces character (proven character)- As you learn to rely on God through prayer and fellowship, your perseverance through hardship begins to develop a proven character- not because of you, but God through you…a Godly character. You begin to take the Holy Spirit within you, your Bible, prayer life, fellowship- all of it and live a life that Paul calls in Ephesians 4:1 “worthy of the calling with which you were called.”

Character produces hope- Hope in what? That when pain and suffering come calling again (and it will) …GOD WILL DO IT AGAIN!!! God will continue to make a way through trials and tribulations. He wants us to continually seek Him because by us maturing in Christ Jesus and developing proven character, we give glory to God.

And lastly Hope does not disappoint- because the love of God has been poured out in your heart by the Holy Spirit who was given to you. God loves you so much that He wants to help you find a way when it seems there is no way…

Poured out…I remember one time when I gave a devotional I likened my faith at salvation to me holding a bottle of water up to God- and God responding with a Niagara Falls type waterfall.

But that doesn’t even begin to quantify the love He has for you.

Take hope- it does not disappoint.

Grace & Peace,

Scott

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