(July 11, 2015)
I appreciated Paul’s language in these chapters that hope is a result of experience. I was very blessed to see that in my own life. Time after time seemingly hopeless situations resulted in blessings for me, and these experiences served to prepare my mind and my spirit for the challenges ahead. As I faced new challenges, that experience gave me additional hope. And living according to that hope gave me more experience.
I don’t know where I would be right now if it hadn’t been for the difficult circumstances I have gone through in my life. The things that were unfair, or painful, served to refine me such that as I have faced far greater challenges – situations even more unfair and painful – I am able to retain in my mind the hope of the Lord turning this to my benefit as He has done so in the past. Were I not prepared having gone through those situations before, I would likely fall away. And this helps to remind me that my experience dealing with things painful and unfair now might be preparing me for challenges unknown that are yet to come in my life, and challenges I can only success at facing because the Lord prepared me through these experiences to have hope.