So another loss for the Oilers last night….I know, starting this entry off with a sports comment might cause some to ignore what I have to say….but I have been an Oiler fan for a long time. To be honest ever since I was born. The Oilers franchise came into existence around the same time that I was born. And it did not take long for the Oilers to win 5 Stanley Cups. And since their last cup in 1990 they have been the hardest team (oh wait…second hardest team after the Leafs) to cheer for.
Often Christianity is very similar to my situation as an Oilers fan. When you first become a Christian things go really well. Often you find yourself blessed beyond compare. Now this is not the case for all those that put their faith in Jesus as it is not the case for all those that cheer for an NHL team…I mean take the Leafs fans for example…Enough talk about hockey.
Endurance is an interesting concept. I find that the sport where the Athlete needs the most amount of endurance is cycling. The Tour de France is probably the most gruelling sporting event in all of history. Those that win that Race do not do so without learning to train through suffering.
Here in Romans 5 Paul explains that Sufferings must happen so that perseverance can happen which later leads to character and then to HOPE. Notice how Sufferings is pluralized. It is not just one event in life that will begin the chain reaction to HOPE. It is a multitude of losses. For a cyclist he needs to push himself through situations his body would rather not go through. But in doing so he prepares himself for the long haul.
As Christians we need to push ourselves through situations that we would rather just give up on. When life is hard at work, we can’t just look at another career. When our kids our disobedient and we feel like giving in we need to hold strong to conviction. The same goes with relationships, hard work, church family….and so on.
Verse 19 goes on to say that through the obedience of Christ we are all made Righteous. I can just imagine what the SUFFERINGS that Christ went through were like…He probably wanted to give up a multitude of times. But He persevered and because of that we now have the hope. Push through your current struggle and find the HOPE that is promised.