“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.”Romans 5:3-5
We surely all have faced trials of many kinds, some of them beyond what we ever imagined we’d endure. But think about Paul who wrote of how often he’d been worked hard, imprisoned unjustly, flogged severely, and brought near to death. His list in 2 Corinthians 11 is exhausting to read as he enumerates receiving lashes, beatings, and stoning. He tells of being shipwrecked and adrift at sea, journeying with dangers from rivers, robbers, and his own people. He recalls toil and hardship, sleepless nights, hunger and thirst, lack of food, cold and exposure (see vv. 23-27).
Our own catalogues of adversity may not be as long or overwhelming as Paul’s, but our trust in God through it strengthens our faith, like tempered steel.
2 Corinthians 11:21-33
“The fiery tests of trouble are meant by God to make your faith unbreakable.” (John Piper, 1999)
Bible In A Year
- 2 Samuel 22
- Psalm 147
- 1 Timothy 3-4