For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.–Romans 8:38-39

The Process is Part of the Plan

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“we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” (Romans 5:3-5)

The following conversation is taken from Revive Our Hearts radio program in a series entitled “Walking Through Life’s Deserts”. It is an interview featuring Nancy Leigh DeMoss, Kim Wagner, Holly Elliff, and Maria Johnson.

Kim: I think if we don’t get through that process where we walk through the tribulation to the point that we understand what perseverance is, that we get to the point ultimately of hope because God’s Spirit is being poured out through us. If we stop short in that process, then potentially we will end up angry and bitter because we miss the bottom line, that at the bottom of that pit Jesus is there.

Nancy: Of course, we want to get to the hope and the good product in our lives without going through the process of tribulation.

Holly: We want to get out of the process, mostly. We just don’t want to be in the process or maybe don’t want to be in the process as long as it takes to get to the end of it.

Maria: It’s like we forget the process is part of the plan. Our objective is to get out of this. Our objective is, yes, we want to be conformed to Christ’s image, but we want to be there now.

Holly: Well, I think, especially in America, we have been raised with a comfort mindset where if things are not going well or they’re tough or they’re difficult, we are very uncomfortable with that.

Kim: Comfort, instantaneous change and also easy three-step formulas to get there. When you were reading that in Romans 5, it so reminded me of in one of my most recent deserts, this verse in 1 Peter 5:10.This is such a precious promise to me where he says, “After you have suffered for a little while the God of all grace who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself [then] perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you” (NASB). It’s after you have suffered for a little while. We want to get to the end of that verse immediately, but we have to go through the suffering to get there.

For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” (2 Corinthians 4:17 NIV 1984)

Amen and Amen!

Author: Kristie

Kristie is a pastor's wife, mom, Bible teacher, and author of His Testimonies, My Heritage: Women of Color on the Word of God, which will be released in September. She currently serves as the Associate Director of Women's Workshops for the Charles Simeon Trust, helping to equip women Bible teachers. She joyfully supports her husband of almost 28 years, Thabiti, as he pastors Anacostia River Church in Washington, DC. They have 3 children. She has written contributions to the ESV Women's Devotional Bible; Word-Filled Women's Ministry: Loving and Serving the Church; Women on Life: A Call to Love the Unborn, Unloved and Neglected; and Hospitality Matters: Reviving an Ancient Practice for Modern Missions. Her work can also be found at The Front Porch, The Gospel Coalition, Desiring God, Christianity Today, and Revive Our Hearts. You can follow her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter (@kanyabwile).

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