We can rejoice, too, 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.

- Romans 5:3-4

Having the opportunity to interact and mentor children and youth, one thing that can be easily observed is that those who were given the opportunity problem solve and overcome challenges, tend to be more resilient and have the skills for enduring difficult situations later in life, compared to those who have had the problems and issues resolved for them. It is in those moments of confronting and resolving complex trials that our brains develop the ability find solutions and persevere through new problems. Similarly, athletes develop strength, agility, speed, and skill through grueling but consistent training.

We can adapt this logic to our faith. In our journey, there will be many bumps and distractions, risks and situations that test us. But it is with practice and experience that we have the opportunity to build our endurance in faith, and build our character as Christians. And in these moments, we will find assurance in the hope of salvation.

While many bible versions simply indicated "hope", the New Living Translation made it clear that it is the "hope of salvation". I reflected and gave this a lot of thought. It is true, I have come to realize, that in the darkest hours, despite previous experience or supports, the only light comes from putting our hope in God. Salvation does not come by our own doing, but by the grace of God. When we realize we cannot and should not do it alone, we are able to surrender to Christ and find a deeper strength and conviction in our hope.

This year has been one of the most challenging years of my life and I can honestly say that the hope in Christ provided the stability and strength I need. It is this hope of salvation that provides me with peace and clarity. And, I hope that in your difficult times, that you can endure, build character, and grow your hope of salvation through Christ.

Reflection: Reflect on how challenging moments in your life has helped you persevere, build character and strengthen your hope of salvation.

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On Calm Christian Music, there are worship music and devotionals to help you with your faith. This week, the focus of our blog will be on Hope in Suffering.