Roger had been through a lot. He had open-heart surgery to repair a leaky valve. Then, within just a couple of weeks, doctors had to perform the surgery again because of complications. He had just begun to heal with physical therapy when he had a biking accident and broke his collarbone. Added to this, Roger also experienced the heartbreak of losing his mother during this time. He became very discouraged. When a friend asked him if he had seen God at work in any small ways, he confessed that he really didn’t feel he had.
I appreciate Roger’s honesty. Feelings of discouragement or doubt are part of my life too. In Romans, the apostle Paul says, “We can rejoice . . . when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation” (5:3-4 nlt). But that doesn’t mean we always feel the joy. We may just need someone to sit down and listen to us pour out our hearts to them, and to talk with God. Sometimes it takes looking back on the situation before we see how our faith has grown during trials and doubts.
Knowing that God wants to use our difficulties to strengthen our faith can help us to trust His good heart for us.
In what ways has God used trials in your life? Are you learning to trust Him more?
God may lead us into troubled waters to deepen our trust in Him.
In the letter to the Romans, Paul discusses what salvation means. Today’s passage twice mentions that we are justified, which means to be made right with God. In verse 1 Paul says that this happens by faith, and in verse 9 he writes that the blood of Christ justifies us. The sacrifice of Christ’s blood for us is what makes justification possible, and faith is how we receive that justification. Hebrews 9:22 tells us: “Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness” (