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I don’t know about you, but I like my life the best when it’s going along without a whole lot of trouble.  In fact, I do everything I can to keep things going just that way.  I don’t like it when I get in over my head at work; I start to stress out if I have several speaking engagements lined up back to back; and, the all-time worst thing I dislike–people who cut me off in traffic!  If I had things MY way, I would have exactly the right amount of work all the time–enough to stay interested, but not so much that I couldn’t get it done and leave work on time.  All my speaking engagements, youth functions, etc., would be perfectly spaced, and absolutely nobody else would ever be on the road when I’m in a hurry!  Unfortunately, if I had my way, I would not be the person I am today.  God, in His wisdom, has seen to it that I’ve had my share of struggles, and not just those little ones either!  As I look back over the years, there’s no doubt about it–I’ve grown much stronger in my faith during the difficult times.  It’s because God’s hand was so clearly in my life during the tough times, I have hope and faith in Him for the tough times that are ahead.

“And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.  Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.”  Romans 5:2b, 5

I don’t know if I’ll ever have enough faith to “rejoice in my sufferings,” but it sure helps to know that’s the standard we’re supposed to be striving for.  If we want to be people of “character,” then we’re simply going to have to go through some tough times.

In Christ,

PastorJimKilby @Kilby8er

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