We also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, who he has given us.
Romans 5:3-5 (NIV)
In the really, really difficult times — when our bills sit unpaid, when someone we love passes away, when we are struggling with an illness, when each day is an uphill battle, and life feels too hard to even think about Christmas — we can rejoice. Jesus doesn’t call us to rejoice because of our sufferings, but in the midst of them.
The suffering we experience, if we let it, will lead to perseverance and character and hope. This world will bring trials, and we have a choice during the difficult times. We can live in fear and worry, or we can let God work through tough situations so that, when we come out on the other side of them, we’re closer to him than ever before.
If suffering is inevitable, let’s persevere through it and develop character. Let’s allow the suffering to mean something. Let’s commit to using our trials to grow closer to God and spread his love to others.
Then his victory in our lives will be evident, and we will have the type of hope that comes when God pours his love into our hearts. The type of hope that comes from rejoicing, always.
For Today: Is there a trial you’re facing that you could turn into something you can do to spread God’s love to someone else this Christmas season?