“Beam me up, Scotty!” This phrase, although part of pop culture, was never actually uttered exactly this way on any Star Trek episode or movie! But how great that these characters could escape any and all dangerous situations just by being transported back up to the ship from the planet’s surface! At just the right moment, they would disappear before startled eyes and escape any unpleasantness. I often wish I could do the same thing!
Paul had a very different view of facing hard times. Today’s verse explains that we can actually glory or be positive about what we are facing. We are not plucked out of that suffering. We are left here to face it with God’s help. We may never know exactly why we were not spared that suffering, but we do know it can produce something positive; perseverance, character, and hope. And that hope does not put us to shame (verse 5). We are not transported immediately to Heaven after our salvation because we are slowly being shaped and molded here on earth. The perseverance, character and hope He produces allows us to resemble Him.
I do not look for or want any suffering. I would much rather produce that perseverance, character and hope some other way. But it comes through the hard times when my faith is stretched. He went through so much more than I ever will so I know He understands and cares. He will never put me through more than I can withstand. I can trust His heart and His purpose for me.
Thank you Lord, that You use every pain to bring me closer to You!