top of page

From Afflictions to Hope

(The following is the June 20 devotional from my Next Step Devotions book. Before reading it, I suggest you read Romans 5 and pay close attention to verses 3-5.)

People don’t usually wish physical affliction upon themselves. Our natural human tendency is to avoid pain and suffering. But hardships come in many forms besides physical: emotional turmoil, finances, strained relationships, career disruptions, persecution, spiritual uncertainty, and more. It is impossible to go through everyday life and avoid afflictions. Thankfully, we can benefit from them for reasons that Paul identifies:

  1. We can rejoice during them because of what God accomplishes in us through the experience.

  2. Godly good can come from them.

Following encouragement about the peace we have in Christ, Paul writes: “And not only that, but we also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope. This hope will not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us” (vv. 3-5).

Do you regret some of your past afflictions? Remembering difficult times may cause sorrow and heartache, especially if the hardships happened due to our sins or bad decisions. But difficulties can ultimately result in meaningful growth that we might not experience otherwise. According to Paul, we can follow a path from affliction to endurance to proven character and hope. The way may not be easy, but the outcome can be greater maturity for us and glory for God. We can, therefore, rejoice during affliction because it strengthens our hope in the God we love and serve.

Next Step:

Reflect on some of your most difficult times. What did you learn from those occasions? How did you or your faith change because of that experience? Do you currently face some affliction? Pray for God’s wisdom to see beyond the immediate problem and claim the hope he gives that never disappoints.

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page