And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. 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.
When I was younger, I never would have said that I would “glory” in my suffering. To “glory” means to ”take great pride or pleasure in.” I’m a 7 on the Enneagram... which means I hate pain and avoid it at all cost, so this is not one of those verses I have always gravitated towards. But this is a broken world and pain comes to all of us in one way or another, and I can honestly say that while I wouldn’t want to walk through the suffering I have experienced again, I can also say with 100% authenticity that I know God’s goodness and faithfulness more not in spite of my suffering, but BECAUSE of my suffering.
I have had the privilege of seeing Him meet me in my most broken and desperate places. I have seen God’s love persevere, I know more of His character, and I have seen Him breathe hope into me in some very hopeless places. I believe pain and suffering is universal. We all know what it is to hurt, and I’m so grateful that God in His kindness didn’t run from the suffering. He entered into it it all, sent His son to enter into the grave, into death itself, so that He could defeat death. This is EXTREMELY hope-inducing to me. Suffering doesn’t get to have the final word because it is NEVER the end of the story because of what Jesus sacrificed and suffered for all of us.
I am so thankful we don’t have some flimsy or feel-good version of hope. We have a hope that is grounded in an empty grave. Death doesn’t have the final word. We can “glory” in our suffering because we know that suffering is never the end, and we have the same power that raised Jesus from the dead living inside us! What a joy. This is the verse that inspired my song “We’ve Got This Hope”, and I’ll close this FWF post with a lyric from that song.
“We’ve got this hope. We’ve got a future. We’ve got the power of the resurrection living within.”