My habit is to wake up in the morning and spend some time with the Lord reading the Scriptures and praying. Today, while making my way to the couch, my mind was praying, “Lord, what can You say to me today that will encourage me so that I can encourage others?”
Recently, I have been reading through Romans. As I opened my Bible to pick up where I left off, I came across these words: “We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.” (Romans 5:3-6)
It dawned on me, “What if one good thing God is doing through the Coronavirus is to build the endurance, character, and hope of His people?” Technically, I guess that is three things.
Endurance…it is a great quality we prefer to admire in others. We never choose to practice endurance because it is hard, but endurance apparently does something to develop our character.
Character…it is what we assume we have, but it can only be proved through hardship. We expect other people to have it, but apparently God is intentional about using “problems and trials” to develop it in his people. According to these words, character is developed through endurance.
Hope…who knew…comes from endurance being practiced and character being developed in our lives. We are not talking about any run-of-the-mill hope. We are talking about a confident hope that comes from our saving relationship with Jesus Christ.
Right now we need a booster shot of hope, but to get there we need to endure these current trials. As we endure the trials, our character needs too morph into the character Jesus displayed when he went through hardships. As this happens, our hope in Christ is strengthened.
I know this is not easy (hence the whole enduring thing), but our Lord is using this to make us better people…His people. What would happen if we embraced God’s plan of using hardship to change us in the midst of this trial?
Instead of us just thinking about when the virus will be over, maybe we should be thinking about what kind of people we will be when the virus ends? These do not have to be wasted days. Let’s endure. May we be found letting God change our character. May we have hope instead of frustration or worry or sorrow.
Here is a song I’ve been listening to. I hope it encourages you as we endure together.