Friday, December 17, 2010

Knowing God - Romans 5:3-5

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And not only that,
but we also boast in our sufferings,
knowing that suffering produces endurance,
and endurance produces character,
and character produces hope, 
and hope does not disappoint us,
because God's love has been poured into our hearts
through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.
Romans 5:3-5
 
This is our week of hopefulness, and according to St. Paul, what produces hope?
 
Endurance. And character.
 
Now, I thought long and hard about this, and I decided not to say, "suffering, endurance, and character." Why? Because I decided I'd rather learn to endure without too much suffering!!!
 
Endurance, you see, is a long-obedience in the same direction. (I saw that once as the title for a Christian book, but that's what endurance is.)
 
Think about this:
  • In this world of sin, there will inevitably be pain and betrayal.
  • In this world of death, there will inevitably be illness and grief.
  • In this world of gravity there will necessarily be spills and falls and broken bones and broken hearts. 
When we're praying for hope, we don't need to hope for suffering as the trigger to this linear process. Suffering is simply inevitable.
 
Nevertheless, when we endure -- obey long and steadfastly in an unwavering direction -- we will have hearts that are steady and a faith that is true -- call this character. We will also have an unwavering hope that does not disappoint us.
 
In Christ's Love,
a guy who needs a compass
(I want to obey long-term
in a single, holy direction
----------------------
I don't have the strength to keep up the endurance and I am tired of 'character building!'

Yes - suffering is inevitable, but endurance takes a level of strength and perseverance that not everyone is able to tolerate for perform.  Hope will always disappoint. Faith will always waiver.

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