“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 5:3-5).
I have read this passage many times, but I recently noticed it playing out in my own life. This past year, I have been figuring out the specifics of what kind of career I want to pursue. As I forged through the year with resumes, interview outfits, and articles about finding your life’s calling, there were doors that opened and doors that closed. Moments of excitement and moments of disappointment. But the Lord was sovereign over every moment, over every closed door and every opened one.
Since I started searching several months ago, I have noticed a shift in my attitude. The Lord has wrestled with me in my impatience and my tendency to compare myself to others, and He has reminded me that I should be serving Him in all that I do, whether I enjoy it or not. I think I’m finally starting to understand that having a sovereign and all-powerful God doesn’t mean having a God who gives me what I want all the time, but one who puts me in a position to want Him more than anything else. I don’t know all the answers regarding my career, but I can so clearly see the Lord’s hand in where I am now and that gives me confidence for the future.
When I reflect back on this past year, I can see the progression outlined in Romans 5 occurring in my own life. While enduring the challenges of pursuing a career in a very competitive job market, I have grown more patient and trusting in the Lord; this transformation of character has given me a lasting hope for the future because I have grown even more confident that the future is completely in His hands. This hope is not in vain because it is in the Lord, and His promise of eternity is real.
May the love of the Holy Spirit fill, challenge, and transform us as we seek His Truth in this life.
- How have you seen Romans 5:3-5 play out in your life?
- Does this passage change your view of suffering? If so, how?
About the Author
Lara Tovmassian graduated from Biola University in May 2013 with a degree in English: Writing and a minor in Sociology. She is passionate about serving the Lord with her skill of writing and has joined the RE:NEW Communications Team to assist with the writing and editing of ministry materials. During her free time, she enjoys cooking, reading, and spending time with loved ones.
About the Artist
Currently pursuing a master’s degree in Spiritual Formation from the Talbot School of Theology at Biola University, Phoebe Ng also serves full-time as the Project Manager of RE:NEW. Having graduated from UCLA with a bachelor’s degree in English, Phoebe is passionate about leadership development and has been serving in various ministry settings since 2006, including campus ministry, Christian gaming, church administration, and writing a full-length novel. She loves being an English Ministry Intern at Cantonese Baptist Church of Los Angeles and enjoys playing video games, Legos, and guitar in her non-existent spare time.