In seasons of suffering, disappointment and confusion, Romans 5:3-5 has always been a passage of comfort for my soul.
Paul writes about how our suffering is not wasted because it develops endurance, strength, character and hope … and how hope doesn’t lead to disappointment because of Christ.
During seasons of waiting, I’ve found myself coming back to these words. From job layoffs to an unfair health diagnosis, or saying goodbye to children we’ve loved through foster care, I go back and speak over myself, “This will develop my endurance, this will strengthen my character, and my hope is in Christ who will not disappoint."
While this is true and comforting, I’ve found that in the midst of a storm, I cling to these few verses and unintentionally have missed what was spoken just verses before about Abraham's hope and faith.
“Even when there was no reason for hope, Abraham kept hoping - believing that he would become the father of many nations. For God had said to him, ‘That’s how many descendants you will have!’ And Abraham’s faith did not weaken, even though, at about 100 years of age, he figured his body was as good as dead - and so was Sarah’s womb. Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises." – Romans 4:18-21
It's easy to miss what God is doing when we can’t see the full picture. You might be in the middle of the storm and not realize the testimony that's on the other side. A season of waiting might actually be a miracle on the way. We don’t always see the full picture or have answers to our questions.
May we have faith like Abraham that God’s promises are yes and amen. I pray that even in the hard places when it is challenging to worship, we look up and thank God for the breath in our lungs to speak his holy name. You are not alone, and nothing is wasted. He is with you and for you.
Written by Caitlyn Baten, church engagement officer for Buckner International.