1 John 3:1-3 says that everyone who has the hope of Christ in him will purify himself. From Romans 5:3-5, we know that purification, or sanctification, so often comes through tribulation. What did you learn this week about how tribulation produces perseverance, character and a hope that does not disappoint?
Andres T. – The Lord promises us suffering and tribulation during our lives on earth. While suffering can be painful, and we try to avoid tribulations as much as possible, the Lord seeks to move through suffering in our lives. Through this week I have learned how God wants to refine us into His image and He uses trials to grow us. In Him we can find a hope that we are able to cling to during storms and it is a hope that will never disappoint or fail.
Charlene D. – This week I had the opportunity to live out Romans 5:3-5, and learned how to persevere through my frustration and my own self-centeredness to develop my character and learn sacrificial love. I’ve also learned to find my hope in Christ and that He would continue working in me to be better toward others.
Jared R. – Week 5 was a memorable one. The Lord was able to speak so clearly to me through challenging me personally to seek after Him alone, and nothing else. Having hope in Jesus during this week did not disappoint. The blessings of what I learned paid off more than I could imagine, and the lessons I’ve learned opened my eyes to what I need to do to live in the Spirit for the rest of the weeks upcoming. I now know that hope will never come up short when abiding in Jesus. I also am confident that if I seek and look up to the Lord in the weeks coming up, that I will have joy in doing anything asked of me, and I will have peace that whatever I do God will grow me more into the man He has me becoming, and that He will be with me through it all.
Leigh Anne Z. – This week I realized how much I try to avoid tribulation of any kind, and in doing that I have missed out on so many opportunities to be sanctified and purified. In the midst of tribulation is where God will do the most intense yet beautiful refining. When everything that I put my hope in (a lot more things than I realized) is taken away, the only place I can run to find hope is God. He is enough and He truly is the only one who will not disappoint me. He knows what I need, and gives me exactly that, nothing more or less, that is something I can have hope in. This week I was also challenged to genuinely praise God and have a joyful heart in the midst of tribulation just as much as I would when I am not walking through trials.
Marissa H. – Romans 5:3-5 talks about glory in tribulations. Learning how to glory in tribulations is really hard for me because I don't like going through hard times. It has really helped me learning that hope purifies spiritually and physically. Hope constantly is working in me here and it will for the rest of my life. It is so important to suffer so I can draw near to God and run back to my first love, Jesus Christ. Whoever is praying perseverance over me, it is really working and it is growing me in my character in Christ to have hope in Him. Learning how to put my hope in Jesus and not in things of this world has given me a brand new perspective in life, it has made me more thankful and grateful that tribulations grow me closer to Jesus.
Neil C. – This week I was challenged more than I have ever been in these past few weeks. It was difficult at first because my hope was on things that failed. I hoped in my own strength and God showed me that I am weak and that I will fail. It is only when I turned to Him, the One who will never forsake me, that I was filled with a hope that produced in me a desire to persevere and grow through challenge. Truly, hope does not disappoint when that hope is Jesus Christ, the hope of glory.
Sophia P. – This week we looked at how hope purifies and the example of purifying gold. It is heated until all the impurities rise to the top and are scraped out. You know when it’s pure when you can see your reflection in it. Likewise, in order to be made pure I need to be under fire (suffering/trials), in order for the impurities to come out so I can surrender them to God. He will cleanse me, He wants to see His character reflected in my life. Suffering produces character, a character that should reflect Jesus’ example. Having this character brings me to a maturity where I can fully understand the hope I have in me and that it’s everlasting. It does not disappoint, it spurs me on. Onto more trials, onto living out what God calls me to live out, onto obedience.
Zachary G. – This week was so special as we got to individually experience different things to learn personal lessons on what the Lord wants to purify in us. I am continuing to be amazed at how although each week is harder, each week is more rewarding. Although trials are never fun, as I was (and am) learning to put all of my hope in the Lord, He takes me farther than I could have ever thought, makes me more like Him and He does not disappoint. Coming out of this week my new prayer for my life is that John 3:30 would be evidenced in my life: “He must increase but I must decrease.” I am honestly so grateful for the hardship because of the purification and sanctification He is working in me.