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Image by Greg Rosenke

From our Pastor

A message from Tiler Bland

Suffering to Hope

The Apostle Paul in his Epistle to the Romans shares a remarkable teaching. He writes how those who have a relationship with God through Jesus Christ can move from suffering to hope. He writes, “Since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ . . . Suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 5:1, 3b-5)

In his book, Jesus, Man of Joy, Sherwood Wirt tells the story of a young boy growing up in a Christian home in Ohio. One day this boy leaves home to work on a canal boat. While working on the boat, he injures his foot chopping wood. He contracts blood poisoning and is soon confined to bed.

During the long, painful months in bed he resolves that upon recovery he will seek an education. He does exactly that. He studies for the ministry, but then becomes a teacher, and then a school principal. During the Civil War, he joins the 42nd Ohio Volunteers where he becomes a hero during the fighting at Shiloh and Chickamauga. He eventually becomes a major general. He is elected to Congress as a Representative from Ohio and then a U.S. Senator. James Abram Garfield, a boy who was once considered an invalid, was then elected President of the United States.

Notice that it was while he was lying in bed in pain that he decided to change the direction of his life. Many people have discovered that a time of pain, adversity or suffering marked a turning point in their life – for the better.

Remember Paul’s sequence. Suffering produces perseverance. Perseverance produces character. Character produces hope. Hope does not disappoint us because of God’s love.

Persevering toward hope,
Pastor Jim

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