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Dec 1, 2019

184 Suffering Produces Endurance, Character, Hope A Guided Christian Meditation on Romans 5:1-5

I'm Chaplain Jared and I work as a hospice chaplain and an ICU chaplain, my purpose in making this podcast is to help you find more peace in your life and to be more open for your heart to be changed by the Spirit of God. By using centuries old form of Christian Meditation named Lectio Divina:

Outline: Relaxation, Reading, Meditation, Prayer, Contemplation and Visualization.

Get into a place where you can sit comfortably and uninterrupted for about 20 minutes.You should hopefully not be driving or anything tensing or unrelaxing. If you feel comfortable to do so, I invite you to close your eyes.

Guided Relaxation / Guided Meditation:

Breathe and direct your thoughts to contacting God. Let your stomach be a balloon inflate, deflate.
Bible verses for Meditation:

Romans 5
1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;
4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope:
5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

1 Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. 3 And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.

Meditation on Scripture:

As humans we feel like we need to understand the world. We feel out of control if we dont understand things. This feeling has challenged many people to the point were they question wether God is all knowing or all powerful. Although I think this is a natural place to move through in our development of faith, I have seen people get stuck on this question. This scripture is so meaningful because it talks about justification connected to but not identical to the development of our character. I think this gives insight into the questions of purpose of suffering.

I was listening to an interview with Dr. James Gordon on the Being well Podcast. He spoke about how he works with people who grow through their trauma. One girl, who witnessed her family killed in a war learned a deep lesson of compassion for her own suffering. As we learn to endure our character become stronger and enhances our hope in redemption through Jesus Christ if we remain open to God’s spirit as our character grows.

Each of us have our own challenges. There are seasons of life filled with challenges and other seasons less so. But the fact that remains is that we are challenged. I invite you to let go of your demand that suffering must make sense in the immediate future. Allow it to be an enigmatic question that God is working to enhance and change eternal character. God is good and full of love. For this reason he offers us the ability to grow in hope this way.

Meditation of Prayer:

Pray as directed by the Spirit.

Dedicate these moments to the patient waiting, when you feel ready ask God for understanding you desire from Him.

Meditation of God and His Glory / Hesychasm:

I invite you to sit in silence feeling being patient for your own faults and trials.
Summarize what insights you have gained during this meditation and meditate and visualize positive change in your life:
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Final Question: How has suffering built endurance and character in you?

Final Thought: This week I was out in the field. I was in the northern US in Massachusetts and it was very cold. I was sleeping in a tent and performing a lot of very challenging physical events such as hiking with fully loaded packs of gear, obstacle courses, and a wide variety of strength tests. When it was over I arrived back at my lodging here at the schoolhouse the day before Thanksgiving. I was sore and bruised all over. I was missing my wife and kids who are across the country. It was an antithetical way of realizing my blessings. My life is so overwhelmingly blesse d. Suffering and blessing are integrally connected. It is because of our challenges that we realize our blessings. Our blessings help support us through our challenges. The greatest blessing of all is the love and grace of God. God loves you.

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