We never know how strong our faith is until it is tested. When we find ourselves tested will our faith be deeply rooted and unwavering or will it be easily swayed? We find out where our faith stands when we face sufferings.
3 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
My dear friends, Robert and Christie, know what it means to suffer. Robert’s ankle was shot in a hunting accident and yesterday he had a below the knee amputation. I was blessed to visit them in the hospital the day before the surgery. Robert and his wife, Christie, are living examples of the above verse in Romans. Their suffering has produced endurance. In the Greek the word endurance is “associated with hope and refers to that quality of character that does not allow one to surrender to circumstances or succumb under trial”. 1
Their unwavering faith in the goodness of our God is truly inspiring. Instead of asking ‘why’ this happened to them, they are praising God in the midst of their sufferings. They are experiencing peace and joy in the midst of circumstances that are anything but peaceful or joyful. Christie shared how they had seen God working in this situation from the moment it happened. God provided someone to drive Robert to the ambulance that transported him to the helicopter that took him to the hospital. The hospital they transferred him to was a trauma hospital and they were able to save his life.
Christie could even see how the Lord had gone before them as they had done some remodeling to a bathroom that included a handrail in the shower and a new handheld shower head they will need when they return home. Christie and Robert have kept their focus on the Lord throughout this tragedy and have seen Him working mightily in their lives.
The verse in Romans talks about suffering producing endurance, endurance producing character and character producing hope. It is one thing to read these words and another thing to see them so clearly being played in someone’s life. There is no doubt the Lord is developing their character through their endurance. The hope Robert and Christie have is the amazing hope they have in Christ. They haven’t doubted for a moment the Lord’s sovereignty, provision, love and presence.
28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
This verse in Romans is quoted a lot but I can already see how God is using Robert and Christie’s situation for His good because they are an inspiration and a blessing to all who come into contact with them and what amazing witnesses they are being for our Lord.
Please join me in praising the Lord for what He is doing in and through the lives of Robert and Christie and keep them in your prayers as they have a long road of recovery ahead of them!