In July of 2007, I went to Brazil on a Mission Trip. Mom and I had decided that we would read Romans 5:1-5 each day of the trip and then talk about it when I returned home. We actually got to talk on the phone once about it while I was in Brazil. She emailed me something about it almost every day of the trip; something she was learning or how she saw God fulfilling the truth of His Word in her life. These are the precious words of Romans 5:1-5, Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through Him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. At that time, we were learning to rejoice in hope of the glory of God, but having a hard time with rejoicing in suffering. Or maybe we were actually learning to rejoice in suffering because the end result is hope. Mom reminded me of who we were in Christ in light of these verses. She experienced the peace and grace from Christ during that time. I had a much harder time with the truth of these verses. I did not want to rejoice in her sufferings. Fortunately for me, the work of the Holy Spirit is not up to me and what I want. I learned the truths of these verses ever so slowly. Because of Christ, we stand in grace. Suffering is the beginning and the ending is hope. These verses are really all about the work of Christ. He justifies. He brings peace. He gives faith. He allows suffering to produce endurance, character, and hope. His Holy Spirit is a beautiful gift that He gives. Our Sovereign God is at work during times of suffering. It took me a long time to see that and I don't even see everything clearly, yet. Someday though.
For now, I read these truths in Scripture and desire to keep learning. I am certain there will be future suffering in my life, believers are not promised an easy life. However, no suffering is without purpose. We suffer for and hope in the glory God.