On Sunday morning I spoke with two women who are indeed suffering. I don’t think they know each other but their situations are eerily similar. Both are suffering because of the choices a loved one is making. These choices are wreaking havoc on the lives of these women and there are days when they hardly feel they can stand up.
I hugged one and had no words. There really are no words sometimes.
She began to tell me how true it is that suffering brings you closer to God. It’s true you can find the kind of joy out of suffering that you don’t notice when life is smooth. She said she has a real understanding of God’s love for her and how she knows He will sustain her no matter how long she has to endure this situation.
So this is hope.
“More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” ~ Romans 5:4-5
No doubt both of these women in moments of weakness struggle with endurance and even shame. They wouldn’t be human if they didn’t. But God has promised us through our suffering to produce endurance, build our character and give us the kind of hope that eliminates shame. The love the Father lavishes on us by pouring out His Spirit upon us is what gives us hope and sustains us no matter how bad it gets.
How have you experienced hope lately?