Reaching for Hope

Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;
perseverance, character; and character, hope.
And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.

(Romans 5:3-6)

This is a heavy passage.  

How do you tell someone who is suffering, to glory in it; to glory in the pain, remorse, and shame?  How do you tell this to someone you love? They would think that the bible was mocking them….

But as we read on, we find that the reason we should glory in our sufferings is because it ultimately brings us to hope.  Hope in God’s promises that His kingdom and His presence are what we may long for, to hope for.  A place with no shame or sorrow, no tears or pain.

I haven’t experienced this kind of hope, but I’ve witnessed it.  I had a friend who still suffers tremendously from traumatic events that left her wounded like a soldier left alone on a battlefield to die, open wounds pouring out their blood and life.  Despite her sufferings, she held onto the hope in God’s promises of restoration, healing, and love. Though every day was a fight for her just to feel alive, each and every morning she woke up and persevered.  As she persevered, her character was building her into a woman who longed for God desperately, and this character produced a depth of hope I will never understand.  She clung onto God for dear life and I can’t fathom how much God truly treasured her longing for Him.

In comparison I haven’t truly felt this desperate longing – I know God is there, and I go to Him only when convenient. I can go weeks and months at a time without God because I do not desperately hope for His presence and promises. But this is what God wants from us – to cling onto Him with our whole lives. He wants us to hope for His fullness of grace and love and peace and for most of us, we are only willing to give up our souls if we are broken to our core.

So do I want this suffering to come upon me so that I can experience God desperately?  Honestly no I don’t…but when suffering does come, I hope I’ll be able to cling onto His promise: that Jesus came for me just at the right time, that he died for my powerless soul, and gave me something to hope for – redemption in Him.

Christina Shin is an artist who loves the beauty and creativity of God’s design.  She tries to capture that beauty in her drawings, but she still has a lot to learn!  Aspiring artist, or artist undercover, either one describes Christina. She is currently living in Seoul, South Korea, and is enjoying the plethora of cute coffee shops the city has to offer.  With a cup of coffee and her drawing tablet, there is nothing stopping her!

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3 Replies to “Reaching for Hope

  1. I am 52 years old. I have been redeemed from severe childhood abuse, alcoholism and drug addiction, domestic violence, mental health disorders, 3 suicide attempts and now after losing my 27 year old daughter last year to a car wreck I have hope that I will also be redeemed from this pain….it is not too big or to deep for GOD….I have learned something along my walk with the LORD….
    These 3 remain…Faith Hope and Love.

    1. Thank you for sharing such a powerful testimony Saunja. Such is the power of the gospel to meet us in the depths of despair and reveal the hope within. Our hearts break for your loss, and prayers for you and your family for rich, encompassing healing during this season.

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