Faithful all week.

September 5, 2017


The Romans reading from this past Sunday is rich stuff.  Its advice is more than a sermon can handle. It's retreat level, life-forming, discipleship-coaching kid of stuff.  


But we should not miss Paul's consistency with hope, suffering, and perseverance/endurance.


In Romans 12. 12, we have:


Rejoice in hope,

       be patient in suffering,

              persevere in prayer. 


which is the (more poetic) echo of Romans 5.3-5


And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.


Suffering, hope, and prayer - these dear people are the heart of the faith.  We have no choice about suffering.  It will find us, despite our best (most often self-tormenting) attempts to avoid it.  We need not seek it out, but when it comes, will we respond with gripes and groans or hope and prayer.  This is not a matter of the mind, of intellectual ascent, but of the heart and of habit.  We practice hoping and praying so that we have those words and that hope when we need it most.



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