Now that we have been put right with God through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. He has bought us by faith into this experience of God’s grace, in which we now live. And so we boast of the hope we have of sharing God’s glory! We also boast of our troubles, because we know that trouble produces endurance, endurance brings God’s approval and his approval creates hope. (verses 1-4)
Read Romans 5:1-11
In a science experiment at school we placed bean seeds in various places to watch them grow. Imagine our surprise when the plant in the closed cupboard grew at twice the speed of any other in the experiment. We rationalised that it had been the most protected. It hadn’t been battered by the wind, or burnt by the sun or over-watered by the rain. However, in quite a short time it yellowed and died. The bean seed out in the elements thrived. Battling the wind strengthened its stem. Surviving the heat gave it its ability to photosynthesize, and adjusting to rain gave it the right amount of water.
Without enduring troubles you grow weak, like the plant in the cupboard. Being too protected prevents you from growing. When troubles do strike, you can rejoice knowing that they are not meaningless and that God will be with you always.
Be with me, Lord, in my times of trouble, so that I may endure and become stronger. Amen.
by Kathy Hoopman, in ‘Renewed Hope for each Day’ (LCA, Openbook, 2000)
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