Monday, May 13, 2013

Suffering and Joy

The sole survivor of a shipwreck washed up on a small, uninhabited island. He cried out to God to save him. Every day he scanned the horizon for help, but he only got depressed. He eventually built a small hut and put his only possessions in it.

One day, after hunting for some food, he came back to his hut to find it had gone up in flames, the smoke rolling up to the sky. He was devastated and disappointed with God.


Early the next day a ship drew near the island and rescued him. He couldn’t believe it. When he came on board he said asked, "How did you know I was here?"

"We saw your smoke signal."

When Paul writes the Romans, he talks, in chapter 5, about access to God. Imagine that – having access to Almighty God. This thought leads Paul in progression of thought that includes suffering as a part of joy.

How can those two thoughts, suffering and joy, connect? Because one often leads to the other, thanks to God and his way working in our problems. Let’s stay aware of this wonderful idea as this week unfolds.

Romans 5:2-5

. . .We rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

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