Hope is that illusive little feeling. Like a flicker of light. Hope is a reflection of something deeper. Something more than just a feeling of “I hope everything works out…..”
Afflictions bring hope. Seems contradictory. Seems silly to say that. How is hope grown in the soil of persecution, hardships, grief, and deep hurt? Paul shows us, in the book of Romans, that hope is most definitely found after a life has endured hard things.
Romans 5:3-5 – “And not only that, but we also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope. This hope will not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”
I have seen and read how this is even true. In the book, The Insanity of God, I read story after story of persecuted Christians grew in their faith through the hardships. Through the chains. In spite of the beatings, hope endured.
Afflictions lead to endurance. Sometimes when those hard things hit, we first endure it. We stand our ground and refuse to move. We do not feel hope yet….
Then our endurance, over time in the Son and bathed in the water of His Word, we find our character. We find that character is building in order to lead us to hope.
And this hope….the hope of Glory…..will never, ever disappoint. We will never have to “hope” God will come through. We hope with assurance.
I pray these hard things in life build endurance. Then, I ask the Lord to produce a character of hope in my heart. Do not neglect God during your season of darkness. It is in the dark that a seed grows. The invisible growth, under the soil, will one day push through into the sunlight. Hope will bloom, dear friend. Our God is the Sower whose seed will never return void.
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