Romans 5:1-5 NIVUK
5 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 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.

This Sunday I watched a terrific stage in the Tour de France. Chris Froome was left behind by his closest rivals on the slopes and he had to some how drag himself back to them and maintain the strength, physical and mental, to then respond to any further attacks. Driven on by the hope of a win in Paris, he managed it with enormous determination and suffering. Hope and the promise of a reward got him through the pain. On the Cross, Jesus endured physical, spiritual and emotional anguish, but faced it knowing that he was not only doing the Father’s will but also winning the reward of our salvation. Sometimes when we face suffering, we pray and God graciously removes it. Sometimes, however, he calls us to endure, travelling with us, knowing that such travails can sharpen our faith and build our character.

Lord, help us see the hope Jesus has won for us, so that we might have the courage and determination to press on towards it, come what may.