“Suppose one of you has a servant plowing or looking after the sheep. Will he say to the servant when he comes in from the field, ‘Come along now and sit down to eat’? Won’t he rather say, ‘Prepare my supper, get yourself ready and wait on me while I eat and drink; after that you may eat and drink’? Will he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do? So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.'” (Luke 17)
I was having a conversation with a friend the other day, when he brought this passage up. It came to mind during the sermon session last Sunday in Templeton (in an Einstein moment where creativity comes in that half-asleep/half-awake state).
The concept hit him in response to how suffering can become an end, rather than a necessary step in the making of HOPE.
What didn’t cross my infinitesimal mind, was how often we want a cookie for all the suffering we have suffered, and all the hard work life requires. What we don’t tend to understand, is how much suffering and work we have been shielded from, how much the Lord is helping us in each trying moment, and how once we conquer/endure/dodge a difficulty, even more is required of us in the next moment.
Yep, it stays about this bad until it gets worse. Unless, of course, you’re are looking for hope.
“Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of God’s glory. 3 Not only this, but we also rejoice in sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance, character, and character, hope. 5 And hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” (Romans 5)
But now, O Lord, upon what am I relying? You are my only hope! (Psalm 39)
Hope in the Lord, that more of Him will be revealed in our hearts regardless of outcome, is hope that never disappoints.