Growth can be painful. The most painful lessons we learn help us to develop into a better person. Adversity brings clarity which gives us the push to change and ultimately grow. But who wants to sign up for adversity? Who wants to go through difficulties just to find change? Most of us would rather stay just like we are rather than go through the challenges that are necessary to grow. Yet, if we don’t grow, what are we really doing? If we are not moving forward, how are we changing? If our difficulties aren’t teaching us something, why are we enduring?
There is the scripture that I hung on my mirror a couple of years back. I find it encouraging at first glance. It seems to teach so much about how life seems to work. Yet, it also holds some difficult truths. It scares me because this reminds me that in order to be where I need to be as a follower, there are overwhelming terrains I must trek. And some days, I just don’t want to. I want to take the easy route. I want to seek out the best way to go which equates to the least pain. That isn’t always the right way. Sometimes the correct routes take us through the most disheartening landscapes.
The scripture I am referring is, of course, the focus scripture for today. Our struggles, our difficulties, our challenges ultimately change us, shape us and mold us. If we allow them, they can produce endurance that refines our character. If we really lean into what God is teaching us, we can find hope in the end. Hope is what we are all looking. Hope is so much more than a concept or a feeling. Hope is what reminds us this suffering is not the end. There is more and it is good. We have hope ultimately because of God’s love.
I don’t know what you are going through today, but know that God has not left you in it all. He may not have caused your suffering, but he can use it for your good and his. May God shed just enough hope on your life today that you feel his love pouring into your heart. And may you be changed by it. Changed by hope…changed by love. That’s something worth the struggle.
3 And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.
Photos included in Devotions are captured by David Cain – The Cain Gallery. Photos are available for sale by contacting The Cain Gallery