Rabbi’s Reflections – Friday, March 24, 2023
(Early) Shabbat Shalom *|FNAME|*,

The Ladder of Suffering – Romans, part 51

Romans 5:3 And not only that, but we also boast in suffering—knowing that suffering produces perseverance; 4 and perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not disappoint, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Ruach ha-Kodesh who was given to us.

Paul is building a ladder of progression that looks like this…

Suffering * Perseverance * Character * Hope

Now let’s connect the dots.  Suffering is our “skin in the game.”  Is all of our suffering for nothing?  Certainly not!  Suffering forces us to persevere.  It raises the price of quitting.  Perseverance is standing up while under pressure, standing up for righteousness.  Perseverance is overcoming obstacles, while staying on the path of righteousness.

And as we persevere, we build character.  Good (godly) character is made up of it’s characteristics, such as honesty and sincerity.  It is consistently doing the right thing, in love.  We “close the circle” as we hope in God’s loving gift of the Holy Spirit.  Hope is the expectation that God will fulfill His promises.  God’s word is truth.  Satan wants to make God a liar.

We find ourselves echoing 1 Peter 4:12 Loved ones, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal taking place among you to test you—as though something strange were happening to you. 13 Instead, rejoice insofar as you share in the sufferings of Messiah, so that at the revelation of His glory you may also rejoice and be glad.

This is our heritage.  Such an honor – to be counted worthy of sharing Yeshua’s suffering and along with that, His victory.  The path to His victory is the path of suffering.  2 Thessalonians 1:4 Therefore, we ourselves boast of you among the communities of God—about your perseverance and faithfulness through all the persecutions and troubles that you endure. 5 This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, so that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which indeed you are suffering.

As we bring this week to a close, may we be reminded the suffering of this world is nothing compared to the glory we will experience in the next.  Romans 8:18 For I consider the sufferings of this present time not worthy to be compared with the coming glory to be revealed to us.  Shalom shalom.

Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Fri 24 Mar-2023 2nd of Nisan, 5783
Le 4:27-5:10 Isa 27 Pr 19 Ac 18 (Rev 12)