Pause

On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.

Edward Mote in “My Hope Is Built on Nothing Less” (1834)

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Listen

But not only that! We even take pride in our problems, because we know that trouble produces endurance, endurance produces character, and character produces hope.

Romans 5:3-4

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Think

To be honest, these verses make me a little uneasy. Is Paul telling us to be glad we’re going through hard things? We would have to be crazy to be glad that terrible things are happening! NO ONE is glad they’re fighting with their best friend, going through a breakup or divorce, are hurt or have cancer, struggling to make ends meet, being bullied, being excluded, living in a war-torn country, lonely, or grieving the loss of a loved one.

No, we can never rejoice that painful things are happening. (And don’t ever tell someone going through a hard thing that they should be glad about it!) BUT! — What I do think Paul is trying to get at is that we don’t have to FEAR these things, either. We are not defined by fear. We are defined by love — God’s love.

We don’t rejoice in the suffering; we rejoice that suffering cannot destroy our hope. We have hope that God loves us today, just as we are, whatever we’re going through. God’s love for us is greater than our fears.

Erin Spengeman Hutchison

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Pray

God, sometimes things are so hard. When I feel afraid or overwhelmed, help me to remember that your love is with me through all the hard times and that your love is greater than my fear. Amen

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Go

There will be winds that blow against you, like storms against a lighthouse.

But go, knowing that the very Spirit of God is within you, stirring you to be brave, love always, and stand firm in God’s grace.

Erin Spengeman Hutchison

Rev. Erin Spengeman Hutchison is a Baptist pastor and has worked with youth for nearly 20 years. She loves to preach, laugh, and listen to Bruce Springsteen. She lives in Cincinnati, Ohio and has a super cool husband, two awesome kids, and a crazy dog named Cricket.

Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross

Jon Chacko

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