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Here's a thought...

Hope is shaped by character.

Faith-filled Hope is shaped by good character

Your perspective on life flows directly from the position on your heart and it either lifts you up or drags you down.

(Probers 17vs22 TPT)

A joyful, cheerful heart brings healing to both body and soul.

But the one whose heart is crushed

struggles with sickness and depression.

This means that your perspective on life flows directly from the position of your heart. It’s what you fill yourself with that determine whether your perspective helps or hinders you.

The glass half fill/half empty is real. But it’s a decision! You choose to see a glass half-full or half-empty.

And in the same way, you choose to see a life FULL of miracles or a life of trials.

In the book of Romans, Paul talks about faith initiating our joy. That even in the trials and sufferings of life, when we have faith we can experience joy despite the trials and sufferings.

This is because it's not the tangible or the visible which we trust in.... but the name of Jesus! We trust in the name of Jesus because it is through Him, and only Him, that we are saved.

(Romans 5vs3~5 NIV)

"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 sure you’ve experienced a time when it seemed like everything went wrong. Like a domino effect which left you thinking, “If one more thing goes wrong, I’m going to break.”

From spilt coffee to missed busses, forgotten keys and late schedules… our minds are full with thing after thing that distracts us from the inside world.

But the joy of our faith is that we’re not reliant on the daily circumstances. We’re not reliant on what happens or doesn’t happen. We’re not reliant on the response or reaction of people.

Our foundation is in Christ because our heart is in Christ.

Difficult things will happen, but difficult things don't shape us!

Here's the same verse in the New Living Translation

(Romans 5vs3~4 NLT)

“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.”

Endurance and Perseverance are used interchangeable in this verse between the translation. But sometimes it can be

very helpful to change the word we use because it provokes a different (and hopefully better) thought pattern.

Instead of perseverance, I enjoy the word endurance. Sometimes perseverance can bring up some negative connotations, as if persevering is connected to 'just hanging on by a thread.'

But if we are to persevere in this life, we can't survive by hanging on the end of the rope, especially when Jesus came to bring fullness of life.

How's your heart today? Is it spurring you on or is it holding you back? Are you full of faith or are you distracted by what you see.

Endurance, when used as a noun, is linked to withstanding adversity. Being able to sustain through stress. When used as an adjective (like an endurance runner), it holds the meaning of being able to continue, to push through even when it’s tough. (

Nobody runs marathon race without training. You don’t develop the strength and stamina for that kind of endurance overnight.

It takes training, it takes pressure, it takes short term and long term effort to build the strength.

And the same in life.

Look back and review the endurance training of your life. There are bound to be pockets of moments throughout your life that can be seen as past trials, OR they can be seen as training events.

God is always preparing you.

He will never take you through something you are not prepared for.

What can we learn from this word Endurance?

Whether it’s a little hill or a long mountain, you can know that when Jesus is in your heart, you’re not facing this unprepared. Because it’s not the struggle that strengthens you, but the Jesus in you that gives you strength.

This doesn’t mean everything should be easy breezy – even the top world runners finish their races out of breath and in stitches! But it’s a determined focus.

Our determined focus is the focus on eternity.

It also doesn’t mean that my endurance looks like your endurance or my distance is the same as yours, or even that we will maintain the same endurance throughout our entire lives!

As an endurance runner will continually tailer their training plan to suit their needs and to prepare for different races, so we will also experience the ebb and flow of the development of our hearts.

Let’s look at the verse in Romans again

“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.”

We can rejoice because joy is found despite the circumstance.

(Numbers 8vs10 NIV)

"The joy of the Lord is your strength.”

We will encounter problems and trials (Even Jesus said we would!)

(John 16vs33 NIV)

"In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Problems and trials help develop you! (We can grow from this)

(James 1vs2~3 NIV)

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. "

Endurance develops strength of character (character comes from the heart)

(Proverbs 27vs19 NIV)

"As water reflects the face, so one’s life reflects the heart."

Character strengthens our hope (our heart directs the point of view of our hope)

(Luke 6vs45 MSG)

"The health of the apple tells the health of the tree. You must begin with your own life-giving lives. It’s who you are, not what you say and do, that counts. Your true being brims over into true words and deeds."

I learn from this that I can’t compare my journey to someone elses. I also can’t determine my outlook based on what I

see, I also have the choice to be hope-filled or hope-less.

It comes from the heart.

Jesus is standing and waiting to hold you heart.

He’s gentle and kind and He knows you best. He has the key to your perfct training plan and He knows what you need now and forever more.

You can rejoice in Him because He is present, even in the suffering!

(Isaiah 41vs10 NIV)

"So do not fear,for I am with you;

do not be dismayed, for I am your God.

I will strengthen you and help you;

I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."

~ X ~

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