“Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”
I’m a big Star Wars fan. The kind of fan that used to know all of the components of a lightsaber, every model of spacecraft featured in the movies and the back story of every character you could imagine. I like Star Wars so much, in fact, that during my GCSEs I even based my entire ‘Religious Education’ exam on the correlation between Christianity and the force. I knew very little about Christianity then and was a strong atheist…so Star Wars was a natural option as I actually knew something about it! When I first started reading the Bible, the passage above out to me in a big way. If I’m honest, I think it’s because it reminded me of this scene in one of the Star Wars movies:
Whilst slightly different in content, it’s quite easy to see the similarities. A progression of emotions that lead either to positive or negative outcomes. The passage in Romans was a very powerful encouragement to always look for the good in situations and to persevere no matter what the cost. Confession: I don’t always do that – but it doesn’t mean I don’t try. The idea of perseverance shaping my character is an exciting one for me; as is the hope that follows. It reminds me of the story of Nelson Mandela , who persevered through great suffering, showing incredible character and eventually gave hope to an entire nation. I would love to hear any examples of this in the lives of people you know – it’s a powerful, powerful passage that I constantly return to.