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Rube Goldberg

Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

Romans 5:3‭-‬5 NIV

Reading this text reminds me of a Rube Goldberg drawing. If you aren't familiar with his comics, they show elaborate mechanical devices. One action sets off a chain of events to an ultimate outcome. For example, the motion of a man eating soup triggers a cracker launched to a parrot balanced on a scale, which releases a counterweight dropped into a bucket. This goes on until the final action is the man's face being fanned by a leaf.

It's hard to perceive sometimes the unlikely outcome of hope arising from our suffering. When we are suffering, probably the last thing on our mind is glorying in our condition. I mean, we don't exclaim "Woohoo, I'm suffering. Yeah!!!" It is hard for us to see how "suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope." But it's in that hope lies Christ, we don't have to endure our suffering alone. Yes, we will still experience those bumps – and mountains – in the road but the glory in our suffering comes from the knowledge of God's love.

Loving God, thank you for walking with us through our suffering, and filling us with your Holy Spirit. Help us to remember when we are pressed down, you will lift us up. We may not see it now but your deliverance is coming. We give you all glory, honor, and praise. Amen.


Pastor Tim

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