"More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces 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." Romans 5:3-5
"If all struggles and sufferings were eliminated, the spirit would no more reach maturity than would the child." Elisabeth Elliot
Really? It must be a misprint or mistranslation.
Nope, I checked, and each translation indicates that we will rejoice in our sufferings.
But not for the sake of suffering but for the outcome of hope that reveals God's love.
So as followers of Jesus, why do we struggle with this concept of no pain, no gain?
Is it because we expect that if we follow Jesus, we will get a bed of roses instead of a crown of thorns?
Did we think that when He said to deny ourselves, all our problems would disappear?
Did we conceive that the cross we'd pick up would hang on a chain around our neck but never fit on our back?
Do we struggle with believing that love and suffering could co-exist and be inseparable in this world?
So, don't embrace suffering for the sake of suffering.
Embrace suffering from trials and tribulations with the hope that it will bring you to knowing the love of our Abba Father and the experience of His Son, Jesus.
How has personal or family suffering left you with a deficit of faith?
Describe when suffering led to a deeper understanding of your Abba Father's love.
How have tribulations resulted in hope in your life?
Lord, Your ways are much higher than ours, just like Your thoughts! May we relinquish our need to understand all so you will give us Your peace. Your peace is the only place we desire to live. Amen