Words from the Heart for Friday December 30th, 2016
Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance.
Romans 5:3 (NIV)
Glory in Our Suffering
God never wastes a trial in your life. Every difficulty is being used to forge a character of Christlikeness and greater holiness. Do you have trouble seeing how God is working through present trials? Take a moment and consider how you have grown through previous challenges. Trust the Lord to do the same with your present trial.
The loss of jobs has led to an excruciatingly high unemployment rate in one two square kilometer area of the north end of Hamilton, Ontario. There are 13,036 people living in this corridor, according to the 2006 census, and 5,464 — 42 per cent — are living below the poverty line. Back in 2010, Terry Cooke, president and CEO of the Hamilton Community Foundation, said concentration of poverty affects both social and health outcomes for a neighbourhood. “”Poverty’s a bad thing anywhere in the community, “” said Cooke, the former regional chairman of Hamilton-Wentworth, “”but when we put a lot of people in a small geographic area, all of whom have high needs and limited resources, it’s a recipe for everyone to spiral downwards.”” Over the past few decades 25,000 jobs have been lost in Hamilton’s manufacturing sector.
People usually do all they can to avoid difficulties. Parents do their best to protect their children from serious challenges. But as usual, the Kingdom of God turns everything on its head. The Bible doesn’t tell us to avoid challenges and suffering, but to learn from them. Romans 5:3 says “Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance.” How is it possible for someone to glory in suffering? How can a person glory in suffering? What is natural is for people to grumble and complain when challenges and pain comes. The Bible tells us how we can live in victory even during the most challenging times and circumstances. It is because suffering produces perseverance. I have noticed this in friends of mine who are suffering for their faith or who are facing long term physical issues. God gives special grace for these people. Seldom have I met suffering saints who ask us to pray that the Lord would release them from the suffering. Instead they ask us to pray that the Lord would give them the grace to bear up under the challenges. Some have been suffering for generations, and have stood strong and firm for Christ in the midst of incredible challenges. We need to pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ who face suffering every day that the Lord would supply all they need to walk in victory.
These have been words from the heart.