Monday, April 17, 2006

Peace, Joy, and Hope

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 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 5:1-5

I came across this verse tonight when I was having my quiet time, something I've neglected lately and am really trying start doing regularly again. It was just what I needed at the perfect time. That's one of my favorite things about spiritual meditation. I usually get just the guidance I need when I need it, if I'm really open to hearing what God has to say. I know this verse, have read it many times, but for some reason it resonates a lot with me right now. You see, I've been thinking a lot about peace, hope and joy. I can never rejoice in suffering when I try to do it myself. I have to ask for God's help. And He helps me. I know that sounds a little simplistic, but that's just the way it works for me. So tonight I decided to ask for help again. No circumstances should ever steal my joy. And I love the part about suffering producting endurance, endurance producing character and character producing hope. (kind of reminds me of the Yoda quote about fear leading to anger and anger leading to hate or whatever in Star Wars) But it's true. Certain things lead to other things, and I want my sufferings to end in hope. And I know they will, because they always do.


  1. I find that this verse is neglected by the modern church. Many of us don't like to be reminded that suffering has a purpose and is in fact a necessary part of God's plan. The McDonalds Drive Thru insta-religion most Americans tend to want doesn't sit well with a Super Sized order of pain.

    You know, it is a little like the Yoda thing. Well, you know Yoda said it first... right?

  2. You are so right about this, Ed. Can I call you Ed?

    And I like the comparison with McDonalds because it's such a perfect picture of our culture. People want everything now, and they don't want to go through the steps they have to go through to get it.

    You know what's odd about me though? I like knowing my suffering has a purpose. Otherwise it's just meaningless suffering. When I remember that my trials help me to grow, I feel better about going through them. That's why I try to learn something from every experience.