Romans 5 – Suffering

Last night at Bible study we talked a lot about suffering. It frustrated me somewhat, because that’s not exactly a topic we want to think about. But one guy at our study has cancer in his neck, and next week he has to have a procedure done that may silence him for life. He may not be able to eat without a feeding tube. They found lumps in his stomach and they’re doing a CT scan to see what the lumps might be. But he was talking about how he might be a witness to the hospital staff. He saw his life through an eternal lens. That’s exactly what Paul tells us we should be doing:

3More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4and endurance produces character, and character produces hope . . .

It’s easy to fall into “pity me” mode when things aren’t going well.  Believe me, I know. I do it all the time.  But I’m not facing death.  My troubles are trivial.  Sure, it’s hard to get along with some people at work.  Sure, I don’t make as much money as I’d like.  But to face real suffering – and maintain our joy – that’s a mark of the Holy Spirit within us.

I like chapter five. It causes me to look heavenward. Jesus died, rose again, and death lost its power. We have nothing to fear.

8but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. 10For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.

2 thoughts on “Romans 5 – Suffering”

  1. Suffering is indeed a tough issue, one we’re forced to face whether we want to or not. I’m glad it’s purposeful and that we have a hope through it all, and that we are given the faith to overcome.

  2. Good stuff Eric. I just listened to someone who spoke honestly about suffering in this fallen world. I find, too often, that we Christians (myself included) like to paint a rosy picture of life… it’s our own version of the prosperity gospel.

    I believe that one of the strengths of the Bible is that it speaks so honestly about suffering and pain, never preventing us from seeing sin or pain in our biblical heroes.

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