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Join Awaken Church as we read the New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs in 2020. Download the #AwakenBible2020 plan at awaken.church/bible2020.

Each week I share a thought from the previous week’s reading here.

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The Science Channel has a show called “How It’s Made,” where they walk you through the behind-the-scenes process on how things are produced. Ever wonder how a badminton racket is made? They’ll show you. Same with rubber balls, almonds, dolls, and hundreds of other things.

Ephesians 2:10 says we are God’s workmanship, so like the items on “How It’s Made,” we’re also a work in progress. God is working behind the scenes to produce things in and through us.

One of those is hope.

Paul gives us a peek into the production of hope in Romans 5.

“…we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope”

Romans 5:3-4 ESV

There’s the assembly line for the production of hope:

Suffering leads to endurance.

Endurance isn’t given; it grows through suffering. Over time, as we learn to navigate pain by faith, we develop a Spirit-empowered endurance that can only come through the crucible of pain.

Endurance leads to character.

As we develop endurance through suffering, we’re also developing character. Character is integrity. It’s a life of strength and purity that only comes when the impurities are burned out through trial by fire. Pain purifies, leading to endurance and character.

Character leads to hope.

Character leads to the end goal: hope. Over time, as we’ve learned to navigate suffering, time and faith have taught us that with Jesus on our side, no darkness is too dark and no failure is final. Even through the worst pain, there is always hope.

So when you face pain, embrace it. It’s ok to feel and acknowledge your anger, hurt, and sadness, but find the joy in it because through the pain, God is producing endurance, character, and hope.

When God is involved, pain always has purpose.