Depending upon which translation you prefer from Biblical text you can interchange the word suffering with tribulation.
In Romans 5 Paul writes that suffering brings about perseverance which brings about character which brings about hope.
You can not reverse that as much as our American clergy tries to reverse the order, or, even worse, only highlights the christian life without the suffering.
That will prove to be misguided teaching soon enough. Unfortunately, many will have already been led down the path of the misaligned gospel, the warm and fuzzy American gospel.
So, tonight I am wondering what is the hope which is brought about by suffering.
Rather than embark upon long, self promoting examples of “look how I have suffered”, I will leave that to those who read, those who meditate, those who contemplate the dire moments of their own life, only to find the deeper purposes and meanings of life.
I have found many of those recently, but not without the preceding sufferings.
In the end, at least I have found, it is the giving that brings the closeness of God, not the concentrating upon that which I have been given.
Yesterday, I gave something away to one in need. That something was given to me and now I had presented it to another.
The gift is not important, but what is important is that the person receiving it said to me, “That is the kindest thing that anyone has ever done for me in my life.”
I texted the person who had initially given the gift to me and wrote, “The highest compliment I can give you is to give to another that which you gave to me.”
Earlier tonight I said to a man who was purchasing a Bible for $10.00 as a gift for another person, “Isn’t it amazing that you are purchasing a gift of infinite value for only $10.00?”
A gift of infinite hope for only $10.00.