We also celebrate our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance, and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. - Romans 5:3-5
Hope can be difficult to nail down. However, when we know…we know. And those trained by the process become another man during the transition. As a new disciple of Jesus, I had just ended a relationship. I was also a recent college graduate. I needed to earn money. An ad in the newspaper from a local iron foundry caught my attention. I sensed that I was to apply. I got the position of molder. The position required me to spend the morning forming giant sand molds. After lunch, the molten iron was wheeled to the molders floor to be poured into the pattern molds. Being a college graduate, this was a vastly different type of work than I had anticipated. Yet, I had a peace that passed my natural understanding. I had two co-workers on each side of my floor. The massive man on my right had been recently released from prison. To my left was Ernie, who had been part of the Hitler Youth movement in Germany. I could hardly understand either man and did not fit into their worlds. The work was physically unlike anything I had ever encountered. The heat was brutal. Molds could weigh up to 50 lbs, and I made 80-100 each day. I began questioning the Lord—the emotional loneliness, physical work, and VERY different co-workers were the quintessential picture of ‘tribulation.’ This went on for three years. And yet, when the Lord said the time was up…I knew I had persevered, which fashioned my character, and just as with the liquified iron I had poured into molds, the love of God had been poured into me. I had a hope that could not be taken from me. I could rejoice in my tribulations.
Daily Battle Order:
Let us not always look at the hard times we encounter as the works of our enemy. Speak to your soul. Remember, the transitional path of tribulation and perseverance are character development steps. And these will build an iron-clad foundation of hope in you.
The theme for this year on the Battlefield with TJC is Deep Change. Come join TJC and learn more about how deeply Christ can change your heart. https://www.joshuacommission.org/event-details/rescheduled-gettysburg-battlefield-maneuver-2023