That’s the money shot. The prize. The big Kahuna. El Gordo.
The pre-suffering, “gee sure, let’s hope for the best guys!” Not too tricky.
A joyful and rock solid confidence in God’s future goodness after a great big whack in the balls…. tricky.
Yet, this is what the Lord is up to in our lives today.
Difficulty calls out perseverance, which then develops into character. Standard New Testament teaching. Part of how we grow to be like Jesus is to go through difficult stuff. Then see the additional step Paul adds in…
Character produces hope.
Swim in that for a few days.
Real Christian maturity is not some stoic guy who’s heroically disciplined himself to do the moral thing in hard times no matter how much it costs.
It’s a servant hearted woman who is well acquainted with grief, yet, with a heart full of Spirit-poured-love, is gladly looking ahead, itching to see all that God’s going to do.
And she won’t be put to shame…