The Race of a Faithful Life

This week in our women’s Bible study we were discussing Romans 5. We had a discussion about verses 3 and 4. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, ESV

How can we rejoice in suffering? Several thoughts were expressed in our group. When we are going through suffering, we have access to God in prayer. God does not leave us.

Sometimes we feel like He has left us. This is where the body of Christ comes in. We hold each other up in faith. During my son’s battle with cancer there were times when I had trouble believing, and I needed the support of people of faith.

We also have the record of God’s faithfulness in the Bible. We have seen answers to prayer and so we have hope.

It is interesting that the NASB translates these verses slightly differently.

And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope;

The definition of exult according to the American Heritage Dictionary: To be in high spirits; figuratively, to leap for joy; to rejoice in triumph or exceedingly; to triumph

We can expect that God will bring us through the difficult circumstances and will help us grow in faith and character.

Our discussion pointed to the importance of coming alongside friends that are experiencing difficulty. It may be just listening, or praying or doing something tangible.

My granddaughter is participating in cross country running at her high school. She told me that she doesn’t really like to run but she wants the health benefit of the program. In a similar way we are being refined.

We are called to run the race of a faithful life. Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us. Hebrews 12:1  

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By Carol

Carol is a follower of Jesus and a wife, mom & grandma. She worked for many years as a childbirth nurse and prenatal educator. She recently retired from clinical work. She has written articles for nursing journals and devotionals. Her novel, Aliisa's Letter, was published in 2010 and she is currently working on another project.

8 comments

  1. It is challenging to say the least to rejoice in our suffering. I’ve gone with several different types and I found comfort in knowing that I was not alone and that God will somehow use this suffering to further His Kingdom. Thank you for this reminder! 🙂

  2. I don’t like running either so can empathize with your granddaughter, unlike her, I choose to exercise in different ways. Good on her for seeing it through! FMF21

  3. “We can expect that God will bring us through the difficult circumstances and will help us grow in faith and character.” I can attest to the fact that my times of suffering were the seasons that I felt God’s presence strongest in my life. I wouldn’t trade those times for anything.

  4. I’m so thankful that when we fix our eyes on Jesus, Carol, that He gives us the strength to persevere in our race of life. And as you stated, we can find joy even through refinement and suffering.

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