Romans 5:3-5 Not only that, but 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 8:18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
Philippians 4:12-13 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
Today, I walked Anita through the tall grass. I was so proud when I found some wonderful blackberries for her to collect for her human dinner tonight. But it really got me to thinking, humans want to be great: smart, beautiful, strong, famous, and rich. I am not so sure dogs want these things.
But it does seem like humans spend a lot of time running around searching for things they cannot have, or are out of reach, or things they do not really need.
God wants me to put my trust in Him. To seek Him first. I admit, I love steak, backrubs, and lots of attention. I want to guard the house and be the best dog I can be.
And then there were those berries. I noticed some things about getting those berries (the good fruit): they are not found everywhere outside (they are rare); they are very juicy and tasty (to humans, not to dogs like me); they have stickers (they come at a price); they often have chiggers, spiders, and snakes around them (to keep predators away, or eat them); and they are worth the price paid for going after them.
Jesus and Christianity is like that: it is rare, it comes at a price, satan wants to steal and rob our joy. I think all Christians want to be “good” Christians. We all would love to be Giants in the Faith, respected for following Jesus wholly and sacrificially (if not, those are issues for another post, not this one).
But all the strength of character, godliness, wisdom comes at a price. “Not only that, but 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.”
Wow, who wants to suffer and endure? We all what character and hope and the Holy Spirit…but must I suffer to achieve it? Does all suffering produce this fruit? We all know the answers to both questions….pruning is not pleasant, but it is necessary. We cannot grow without pain. But, if we do not press into Jesus, through the Holy Spirit and trust God wholeheartedly, we just suffer. He wants us to sore, not sick. He wants us to need Him so much, we get to taste the delicious blackberries of His word (good fruit!)
Father, Thank you for loving us enough to carry us, while you are teaching us. Thank you for the Holy Spirit to guide us. Thank you for the good fruit you give us. We love, Lord.