Years ago when I began learning how to deal with circumstances and the issues of life, one way for me was to find a scripture dealing with that particular issue and commit it to memory, so that when I was going through something, I could bring it back and allow it to encourage my soul. I would take an index card, write the scripture and tape it to my closet door in my bedroom. Before you knew it, there were over 75 scriptures on that door.
I would like to share with you one of those scriptures. Romans 5:3-5:
And not only this, but we glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance, and perseverance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
I remember reading this scripture for the first time years ago. It was during a very difficult time in my life. I had a particularly hard pill to swallow. You know, when you are in pain, hurting, and crying, you are looking to be rescued very quickly.
But, truth be told, my first reaction after reading this scripture, was to ask “you want me to what? Rejoice in what? Paul, are you serious? What do you mean we should rejoice in trials and tribulations?”
But Paul, you don’t know my pain. You don’t know what I have to go through on my job, with my children, in my marriage, and how I have had to rob Peter to pay Paul. You mean to tell me that God is serious in His Word that in spite of all the pain that I am going through right now, I am supposed to rejoice?”
You see, I wanted to get to the hope and proven character without really going through…the pain. I wanted it to just be over.
But as I began to study scripture and life kept happening, I soon realized…. that was the purpose of my pain.