Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Romans 5:3-5

Good evening!

Romans 5:3-5: And not only that, but we also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope. This hope does not disappoint, because God's love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

This Scripture always reminds me of that praise and worship song that sings over and over again, "He gives and takes away. He gives and takes away. My heart will choose to say, blessed be Your name!"

We all will be afflicted with something during our lifetime. In fact, more times than not I find myself being afflicted by one thing or another. It may not be a big deal to most people, but you are afflicted by it. It is something you are bothered by and it is hindering you. How do you handle those afflictions, those irritations, those hiccups, those bumps in the road, those problems that won't seem to budge?

In these instances, you can either withstand and endure or wither and fall apart. God wants to see what kind of person you are. We would be a pretty boring people if we never had anything to overcome, to have victory over, or to make us feel a wide range of emotions. Yes, I hate having to always be afflicted by something but I know that if I rejoice and be glad for what I do have and choose to look at my problems positively, then my character will be proven in the eyes of God. How awesome is that?!

Sure I won't always get it right the first time. I may throw a pity party and want to pull the cover of my head. I may throw my hands up towards the sky and say to God, "Really? This too on top of everything else?!" But I quickly remember that this is just a test. He has never let me down before...why would He let me down now? So as I endure being afflicted, I do the things I know I am supposed to be doing. Praying. Trusting. Tithing. Believing. My character is proven righteous and all of sudden, there it is. Hope! God always shows up and gives you those nuggets to help you carry on.

He gives you hope that does not disappoint, Hallelujah! He pours His love out all over you, all over your problem and all over your future. You will not stay afflicted for long. Sure there are times when that affliction is major and the hurt is more than you can bare. I've been there too. It took me years to realize that if I truly rejoiced through my affliction, my whole outlook would change, my endurance would create proven character and that character would produce hope. But I can tell you that this has been the greatest thing I have ever learned. Once I really got a hold of this, my life has changed.

The afflictions will never stop coming but neither does the love that God pours out on me. What a great word today Lord, thank you!

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