“We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” Romans 5:3-5 (ESV)
I was 22-years-old and I was living a nightmare. I was in the middle of a divorce, a custody battle, and my life as I knew it was coming to an end. No more white picket fence and the 2.5 kids (or so I thought). I was suffering, and every day felt like a battle that couldn't be won.
What I couldn't see then, and what I do see now, is that in those moments of absolute distress, I was beginning to learn and grow as a godly man. It would take another 15 years before I would surrender my life to Him. However, the foundation of Christ was set during those times of my divorce.
Read more about Daniel’s story of facing divorce.
God was shaping me and He was molding me. I was a rebel and He was using afflictions of this life to bring me closer to Him. My suffering was producing endurance, and as Paul writes, from endurance comes character and hope.
What a gift this is from our Lord! He knows our nature and yet He still adores us. He sees our rebellion and yet His faithfulness knows no boundaries. He allows times of suffering, as a loving Father, in so that we may find our way into His loving arms.
Father. We cry out to You in our times of suffering and afflictions. We say heal and we say change. Lord, we only want what is in Your will. Let us see the gift that You give us in our times of suffering. Open our hearts to turn back to You, Lord. In Jesus name, AMEN!
If you've experienced suffering in your life, you have a wonderful gift to pass on to others. There's something amazing when someone says, "I've been there." By becoming a mentor, you can give hope and support to those who are in the darkest times of their lives.