Who hasn’t rubbed their fingers around the rim of a crystal wine glass to produce that ringing sound? That is the principle behind this glass harmonica, made of a series of glass bowls or goblets in varying sizes spinning on a single shaft. The haunting ethereal sound of the notes are produced by moistened fingers and the friction they create. The pressure of the fingers can change the volume and duration of a note. The “incomparably sweet” sound of the glass harmonica is really due to friction and pressure.
Paul makes an incredible statement in today’s verse. He can glory or revel in his sufferings because he understands what it will develop in him! Perseverance, character and hope are those harmonious notes his sufferings will produce. But these characteristics do not show themselves except through the friction and pressure of suffering. He knows and is confident of this positive outcome, affirming that this hope is sure. This hope will not ever put him to shame because of the love that God has poured out into his heart (verse 5).
How amazing it is that in the middle of suffering Paul can keenly feel God’s love for him! When things go wrong and I am hurting, I am tempted to think that God may not love me quite so much. If He really loved me would He make me go through this? Couldn’t I just have that perseverance, character and hope without all that suffering? I have to trust that He knows what He is doing. His love never changes and He is making me more like Him!
Lord, help me never to doubt your love for me.