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. Not only that, but 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.Romans 5:1-5
“We rejoice in our suffering.” How are we supposed to rejoice in our suffering when our sufferings are so painful and hard? It seems like a lot to ask. Here Paul is not saying that we should enjoy our trials, but that we should find joy in the Lord despite our sufferings. We know that through these difficulties God is shaping us because we are His and He loves us. These sufferings produce endurance, character, and hope.
Dictionary.com defines endurance as, “the fact or power of enduring or bearing pain, hardships, etc.” As Christians, our “power of enduring” comes from the one who made us. God gives us the strength to bear all our suffering. He uses these times to draw us closer to Him by showing us that we cannot bear our trials alone. Only through Him and with His help can we endure, and as we learn to trust in God more during these times, our faith and endurance is strengthened.
Our character is who we are, how we react, and what we say. Through our suffering God is shaping our character to be more like Him. Even through our sufferings, we know that our hope is found in Him. Hope is the confidence that God will fulfill his promises for our good and for His glory.
I used my new interleaved Bible for this entry. Which, if you are new to bible journaling, is a Bible that has a blank page between each page of text. At first this Bible intimidated me because of all the space I had to fill, but I think I am really going to enjoy using it. I started out by tracing the flower from the devotional card at the top and bottom of the page with pencil. Using my watercolor paints, I then painted in the flowers. I really took my time and built up the layers. Then using a black pen, I went over my lines. I added paint splatters and placed my title on the page using the stickers and alphas from the kit. I finished off the page by highlighting the verse with watercolor and adding my date stamp.