“and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.” vs. 5
Paul is able to tell the Romans that people of faith can even boast in their sufferings, not because they are masochists, but because God’s love, the very presence of God, has been poured into their hearts. His insight has stood the test of time and today we know the truth of what he believed. The two things which, without fail, draw us closer to God and to one another are suffering and love. The second of these, love, is of course the most obvious. Most everyone knows that love is about connections, but suffering is less clear. Paul says it’s because suffering leads to endurance, and endurance produces hope, and hope connects us with the love of God. His argument could be seen as a bit of a stretch, but our experiences with suffering support what he says. There’s probably nothing that draws us closer to one another than shared suffering. It’s a time for the putting aside of the charade and pretense which usually govern our interactions. In our pain we allow people to come close and hugs replace words as the primary means of communication. In the embraces love abounds, God brings healing, and hope is restored. The progression from suffering to love may not be as smooth as Paul implies, but it does happen. It’s one of the major benefits of our life together in Christ!
Thought for the Day: Where have I seen the connection between suffering and love?