“Suffering produces endurance and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us . . .” – Romans 5:3-5
That is just a snippet from an amazing chunk of scripture from Paul’s letter to the early church in Rome.
If you’re curious to read the rest of that sentence, you can open your own Bible. Or you can read straight from an online Bible by clicking here: Romans 5:1-11. Change happens.
But here’s what hasn’t changed. We’re still just trying to connect with each other and share God’s love.
Paul sent hand-written letters to encourage the first generation of Christians. Later, the printing press brought people their own personal copies of the Bible, in their own languages, which was revolutionary back in 1456. Today you can read the Bible online, and compare multiple translations on the screen. And I can communicate this beautiful verse with all of you by email, which you can then share with others.
So if there’s anyone you know who could use a little hope, send this email on to them. If there’s someone whose character you admire, forward it to that person. And if there’s someone who has endured hard times, and grown through it, let them know that you have noticed.
There is no one who can’t use more of what this scripture has to offer.
Thank you God for hope, endurance and character in hard times, and the promise of better times to come. Amen.
Lillian Daniel is the Senior Minister of First Congregational United Church of Christ, Dubuque, Iowa, and the author of When “Spiritual But Not Religious” is Not Enough.