Romans 5:3-5

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.

Suffering is just a part of our sin-stricken and fallen world. You can’t escape it and you can’t ignore it. Maybe you or someone you know is fighting cancer and you just don’t know how much more you can take. Or maybe you’re working a job where you’re persecuted for your faith and you just can’t take the ridicule anymore. Suffering is everywhere but it doesn’t need to be something that knocks you to the dirt time and time again. Jesus suffered in unimaginably horrific ways when he died for us on the cross, but he persevered even unto death.

In the book of Hebrews the author tells us to fix our eyes on Jesus and the cross when we are suffering so that we won’t grow weary and lose heart (Heb. 12:2-3) We have the ultimate example of suffering and perseverance in Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, things may not always get better; we may not get healed or we may still be persecuted. But through it all we know that God has us in his hands and we have the Holy Spirit to comfort us. Jesus had to die before he could be resurrected. Remember, suffering is a fact of this life and it won’t end until we are reunited with Jesus in heaven. But while we are here, we can either choose to let it destroy us or we can choose to overcome it and hold on to our hope in Jesus Christ. Persevere. Be strong. Endure.

QUESTION 1. When you’ve encountered suffering in the past, how did you respond? Were you the victim or the warrior?
QUESTION 2. Do you trust and believe that Jesus is more than enough for you in your suffering? Why or why not?
CHALLENGE: Next time you are faced with suffering, persevere. Your endurance will produce character and hope through the Holy Spirit. We are more than conquerors through Him that loves us (Rom. 8:37).
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