First things first, go blast Beautiful Things by Gungor.
Oh your too lazy? Here is a convenient lyric video
Let’s talk about Romans 5:2-4.
through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, 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
Not only does life become oppressive, but people around us become oppressive. Why? Because we are self-righteous people. We allow the devil to speak lies to us,
“Well, they’re not suffering the same as me! There must be something wrong with me if I’m suffering like this. After all, I should be able to avoid this suffering, right?”
or the alternative:
“I’ve had it way harder than this chick, she doesn’t understand pain. She needs to experience the real world.”
Needless to say, when bitterness begins to replace the resentment and all life becomes a burden, compassion and charity take a “backseat” in our lives. Then bitterness has turned to HATE.
Hatred is never a good thing, for it will often lead to despair, and to despair is a mortal sin that will lead to spiritual death and even physical death if not caught early. Do you know anyone like this? Someone who just seems to hate anything and everyone and all life in general? PRAY FOR THEM!… seriously.
Now back to my original thought, let us look at the other kind of endurance, the kind that comes only from the Grace of God. Embracing your hardships and sufferings should not be confused with just enduring them. For when one just endures something it is usually because we believe we have no choice, or maybe we believe that by enduring them we will become a better person.
The result of embracing sufferings with Love is the flow of grace, “Through Him we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand,” as it says in Romans 2:5, which began this explanation. It is also by this grace that we are able to endure suffering in a loving way, and it is in this loving way that Character takes its reference.
For in this loving endurance, Character becomes potent, that it produces HOPE, as contained in the LOVE and GRACE found in the Heart of God. In other words, when we allow God to work through and in that which we suffer, that very suffering become constructive enough to begin to literally move mountains.
Our sufferings are never just for ourselves, but also for others. We may never know who has benefited from our suffering. Produce Hope people!!!! You are a part of the army of God. Use your story to share His. (aka your testimony)
So, are you suffering right now, or are you enduring your suffering? Are you actively living in the Love of God and embracing your suffering, or are you just trying to survive? Or perhaps a better question, are you bitter… or … are you at peace?
He is producing a beautiful story of hope through you. Who knows maybe one day you’ll be sitting in a coffee shop and you’ll open up to a stranger about yourself and they’ll ask you.. “How’d you handle that?” JESUS. Boom.
Have you ever looked at the sunset and wondered how in the world God created something so beautiful? In my personal opinion, when I see a sunset that stands out from the rest its because I had to see a lot of average or cloudy skies to appreciate ones like this.
Boy, can that be applied to our lives… Am I right?