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Suffering Produces Perseverance

Why?

That's a question I've asked God many times in the last few months. At first it was, "Why, God? Why are You doing this to me?" I was stuck in a bitter rage. A dense fog that overtook my mind and my heart. I was angry. My husband had decided he wanted to have an open marriage, in which he could pursue other sexual partners. He was, in fact, already invovled with a 20 year old college student, and he had been living a secret online life for the last 7 years of our marriage. Shock doesn't even begin to describe what I felt when I discovered all of this. For a few blurry days, I really thought my life was over. I have never sobbed harder than I did in the those days after I found out.

Slowly, though, the fog began to lift. My anger at God subsided, and I began to discover an inner peace and strength that can only be found in God during those times when life just seems impossible. I was still asking why, but instead of why me, I was asking, "Why, God? What can I learn from this? How can my suffering be of benefit to those in my life?"

You see, I've come to understand that suffering produces perserverance. In fact, Romans 5:2-5 says:

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Crhist, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast int he hope of the Glory of God. 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.

So while I may be at rock bottom in the midst of a painful divorce, I know that my suffering will develop character and give me hope. Admittedly, I've not been very conscientous of what I've been eating lately. I haven't worked out since June 5, over a month. I haven't stepped on a scale in awhile. I have no idea how much I've gained back. But really, it doesn't matter. What matters is that right now, in this moment, I know that I am NOT giving up. I will find the strength I need to move forward. I will reach my goals and I will do so even in the face of suffering.

I do not know what the future holds. Maybe that's the beauty in life. Because I have faith, I don't need to know what lies ahead. I just need to trust God and know that I'm exactly where I need to be. For whatever reason, the end of my marriage and the hurt I'm experience right now is part of the bigger plan for my life. I will be able to look back someday and not have to ask why, because God will make it clear why I needed to endure this trial, and I have absolutely no doubt that the best is yet to come.

I'm going to suffer. I'm going to persevere. I'm going to have hope.

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