As you know, some friends and I are doing a Bible study called “A Woman Who Doesn’t Quit.” It’s based on the Old Testament book of Ruth.
We just started yesterday and the study has been a blessing thus far. I thought maybe I’d use some of the daily verses for Scripture Sunday and kill two birds with one stone. Plus, if you’re doing the Bible study with us, this could serve as an additional platform.
Romans 5:3-4 is the memory verse for day one, and I feel like that’s such a great verse for this study:
3 And not only that, but we also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, 4 endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope.
What an incredible verse about not quitting. Here’s that same verse broken down:
“And not only that, but we also rejoice in our afflictions…” The previous verse talks about rejoicing when things are good, but did you know God also wants us to rejoice when we’re suffering? We are only human and this is so difficult because most of us have a hard time finding joy in our struggles. It’s hard to see the lesson and the grace when we’re going through hard times. God acknowledges this in the next verse, and tells us why we should still rejoice.
Have you ever felt you were suffering? I have. Most of us can recall a particularly difficult time in our lives where we experienced pain and suffering. It could be physical or emotional. Some of you may even be there now. Don’t quit. Here’s why:
“because we know that affliction produces endurance, 4 endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope.”
Basically, God will use whatever trials we endure to teach us perseverance and give us Hope. We only have to stay the course and hope in Him.
In 2014, I experienced pain and suffering like nothing I’d ever known. I learned in that time that our God will not only use our suffering to mold us and shape us for Him, but he also suffers alongside us. He feels and he knows that with which we struggle.
Think about the book of Ruth. Her father in law and husband had just died and now her mother in law was leaving to return back to Israel. Our Bible study author suggests that Ruth, a Moabite who worshipped idols, may have possibly found God during her marriage.
Elimilech, Naomi and their sons, who were all God worshipping Israelites left Israel to escape famine and suffering, instead of waiting on God to bring them through it. They traveled to a land with idol worshippers and an evil king, and after about a decade, Naomi’s suffering increased when she lost her husband and both children.
She was ready to quit. Ready to quit both her daughters in law and just go back to Bethlehem. But Ruth? Well, she and God had different ideas. In fact, God used this former idolater and she actually became a part of Jesus’ family tree.
It’s amazing what God can do with our struggles. Struggle produces endurance, proven character and hope. Don’t quit. Rejoice in your trials and be blessed.
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