Today's encouragement comes from Romans 5:3-5, where Paul wrote these words:
"And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tri-bulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was giv-en to us."
"Glory in tribulations"? Is the apostle Paul saying this just to put a "spiritual" spin on the believers' hardships? No. The maturing church-man comes to recognize the peculiar value of trials and difficulties--especially when the end result is realized--which is hope, anointed with love.
Let us be good stewards of the heart-shaking troubles that come into our souls. Let us recognize that the faithful Christian cannot be hurt by them; and let us ask God to use them for our good.
[Puritan quote of the day: "God chooses broken vessels to pour com-fort into that they may diffuse it unto others." --Christopher Love, in, "The Dejected Soul's Cure"]