Big Idea: God uses our hardships to mold us and shape us.
Romans 5.3-4 (CSB): ...we also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, (4) endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope.
Devotional: I discovered that some of my clothes have shrunk since the start of “Corona Saga 2020.” So, I’ve decided to start back running because buying new clothes is expensive. I am not new to physical fitness. In the past, I often ran four miles a day and then spent some time in the gym afterwards. When running, it is not uncommon for one to hit what’s called the wall. In short, the wall is a point in which the runner does not think he can take another stride—so it’s a mental thing. It’s at this point that some will give up and quit pushing ahead. However, that’s not the way to handle it. The best way is to keep putting one foot in front of the other. Eventually, the runner can push past the wall, and gain his second wind.
The runner can only push past the wall when he keeps moving. At times, we may experience a massive road block in our life. It may feel as though it came out of nowhere and that there is no way for us to keep moving forward. However, Paul told us that afflictions (road blocks), produce endurance and endurance produces proven character. Endurance is the ability to stay the course over the long haul and proven character comes after you know a thing or two, because you’ve seen a thing or two.
While afflictions are hardly ever pleasant, God is able to use those hardships to mold and shape us into the image of Christ. Paul said it like this: For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is going to be revealed to us (Rom. 8.18).
-Are you in a season that is difficult? If so, how have you been relying on God during this season?
-How can you encourage a friend who is walking through a difficult season?
-Pray and ask God to help you endure the difficulties of life as you pursue the kingdom of God and his righteousness (Matt. 6.33).
The secret of endurance is to remember that your pain is temporary but your reward will be eternal. —Rick Warren