Finding Hope in Unexpected Places

Sara Torbett - Stronger

Suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. Romans 5:3-4

When I first read the verse above, I wondered if my Bible had a typo. Wasn’t hope supposed to be at the beginning of the list? That’s certainly where I wanted it to be.

I didn’t like the idea of going through suffering, perseverance, and character to get to hope.

My thoughts reflect our culture today. We view hope as an emotion rather than an outcome of choices we make. We also think hope should be automatic. Then when we don’t find it right away, we despair. But this passage makes it clear that hope is a process.

The first step in that process is suffering. Loss is a part of life. We’ll all endure hardship and heartache on this side of heaven. When we suffer, we have two choices: press on or give up. Jim Rohn once said, “We all must suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret.”

If we choose discipline and perseverance, then this pattern gradually becomes part of who we are—our character. Character doesn’t change based on circumstances or who is watching at the moment. As Dwight L. Moody said, “Character is what you are in the dark.”

Character also becomes a light in the dark because it eventually results in hope. This kind of hope is not a vague feeling or wish. Instead it’s a deep knowledge that you and God can get through anything together. That’s the heart of hope: choosing to walk with God through the valleys of life and finding that He will never leave you–and that you will never leave Him either.

We all wonder how our faith will fare when challenges come our way. If you’re still reading this, my guess is you’re choosing perseverance and character. You’ve faced what you never wanted, and your faith is surviving, perhaps even thriving. Even if you have doubts, fears, and many difficult moments, you’re pressing on and moving forward. And I’m cheering you on with every step…no matter how small or slow.

Take heart, friend, you are doing better than you know. Jesus is with you. Your sisters are for you. And hope is on its way.

XOXO

Holley Gerth

photo and quote design by Sara Torbett {download free on flickr!}

p.s. Hope often finds us when in the most unlikely of places. Claire Diaz-Ortiz experienced this firsthand and shares her story in Hope Runs: An American Tourist, a Kenyan Boy, a Journey of Redemption. I’m giving away a copy of Claire’s book today and if you comment or link up by midnight CST on Friday you’ll be entered to win. Update: congrats to Lina for winning the giveaway!

Hope Runs****

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About Holley

About Holley

Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author and Life Coach

I like humans, words, and good coffee. And I’d love to help you beat what’s holding you back, become all you’re created to be, and kick butt for the greater good.

Cheering you on,

Holley

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