Date: Monday, January 20
Scripture: Romans 5:1-5
Verse: And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope (Romans 5:3-4)
In a couple of weeks the Olympics will begin, and the coverage we undoubtedly include the sacrifices the athletes make to get there. We have already heard about the young woman who gave her spot up for her twin sister (see the story here). There will also be stories of early morning practices, comebacks from injury, long days in weight rooms, disciplined diets, and so much more. We know athletic success requires a lot of sacrifice. Choosing to go through the pain to get better.
These few verses from Romans are the spiritual equivalent of “no pain, no gain.” Paul reminds us that all of life, even the very difficult things, can be used by God to produce his will in our lives. So often, we think the road of faith should be smooth and easy when we are living properly before God. But actually, the Bible tells us God is constantly shaping us, and even using the difficult times to turn us into the people he created us to be.
What pain have you gone through? God can use it. Those difficult years with your teenage child can help another when you are willing to share. That season of joblessness and financial struggle may have built compassion in you for the poor which can be channeled into serving God. Your divorce or bad breakup might be able to help another whose relationship is struggling or over. When we are willing to accept our pain and use it for God, he can do great things in and through us.
Prayer: Thank you God for using even my struggles for your glory. Amen.
Action: Plan a way to share your story of pain with someone who might benefit from it.
Respond: How has God used your season of struggle to benefit you or someone else? Answer by clicking “Leave a Comment” below.
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