“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 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. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us” (Romans 5:1-5).
Who reading this today has been “justified through faith”? If so, the Bible says you should have peace with God through our Lord Jesus.
Who reading this today “boasts in the glory of our sufferings”? Today, we could say “boasts in the glory of losing our job,” or “boast in the glory of contracting COVID-19.”
Who reading this knows “suffering produces perseverance and perseverance produces character?” Yet, we pray often for our lives to be suffering-free and chaff at the thought of enduring suffering time after time.
Who reading this knows “character produces hope”? The kind of hope that defies human understanding…the kind that seems other-worldly because it is not of this world, but of the kingdom of heaven…
You see, to have hope in days like these, you must have already been through the fire. You must have suffered on more than one occasion.
To have hope in days like these, you must be able to outlast viruses and government shutdowns and rely on the living God with a “crazy” determination.
To have hope in days like these, your character should be forged of God’s heavenly dominion, not earthly whims, filled with fear and regret.
To have hope in days like these, your hope—built through the fires of suffering—will be the thing that shines brightest before men and women in your sphere of influence.
To have hope, Biblical hope, isn’t easy. But when attained and maintained, it is by far the most peaceful. For our God is bigger than any virus.
Kevin Thompson is an ordained minister, and his published works include two award-winning novels, The Serpent’s Grasp (winner of the 2013 Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference Selah Award for First Fiction) and 30 Days Hath Revenge – A Blake Meyer Thriller: Book 1, the first in a continuing series. His latest novel, The Letters, was released in Feb. 2020. For more, visit Kevin’s website www.ckevinthompson.com/ or his Writer’s Blog www.ckevinthompson.blogspot.com/. Facebook: C. Kevin Thompson – Author Fan Page; Twitter: @CKevinThompson; Instagram: ckevinthompson; Pinterest: ckevinthompsonauthor; Goodreads: C. Kevin Thompson; BookBub: C. Kevin Thompson