Therefore, since we have been made righteous through his faithfulness, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 We have access by faith into this grace in which we stand through him, and we boast in the hope of God’s glory. 3 But not only that! We even take pride in our problems, because we know that trouble produces endurance, 4 endurance produces character, and character produces hope. 5 This hope doesn’t put us to shame, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
“We even take pride in our problems.” Very seldom have I read anything in the Bible that I have a more difficult time connecting with. Pride in our problems? Really? I’m about 10 times more likely to hide my problems than take pride in them. And yet, Paul says it – take PRIDE in your problems.
Why? He lays out the following formula in his letter to the Romans:
Trouble >> Endurance >> Character >> Hope
The notion here is that our ability to endure trouble strengthens our character. And depth of character implies a depth of experience of God that leads us to find hope in every situation, no matter how difficult – because we know who God is and what God can do.
We take pride in our problems not because of who they show us to be – because, let’s be real, they often reveal things about ourselves we’d rather not face. No, we take pride in our problems because of who they show Christ to be – always faithful, always present, and always loving.
By Joe Monahan
For Pondering & Prayer
What are some of the crises that have formed your faith and shaped your character? Are there lessons you learned there? Do they help you find hope when things seem difficult?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, you walk with us through good times and bad. Today, help us to take pride even in our problems, trusting in you to see us through them. Amen.
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