As you begin, read Romans 5:3–4.
Driving northwest on U.S. Route 25E in Tennessee, you approach the Cumberland Mountains. Rather than drive over the mountains, however, you can drive through them. In the 1990s, engineers built a tunnel through the mountain. Entering the tunnel in Tennessee, you exit in Kentucky.
People marveled at the Cumberland Gap Tunnel because engineers were able to build through a mountain. Others, however, marveled because of the price tag. Projected to cost $140 million, the bill ended up being $280 million. Why? Because during construction, engineers discovered springs of water buried deep within the mountain.
Building often encounters adversity. Engineers discover problems. Cost overruns are nearly inevitable. And sometimes, people re-evaluate the project and quit. “It’s not worth it,” they say.
In matters of faith, however, building and adversity somehow work together. When faced with the price tag of our sin, God did not abandon his creation. Rather, he sent Jesus into our world. He paid the price for our sin. Christ suffered death, and, by rising again, brought us life. Now, because of Christ, God works life even in the midst of suffering.
Divorce. Unemployment. Cancer. Depression. Suffering surrounds us like mountains. Yet God builds a way through it. And as he leads us through it, he brings us to those hidden springs, nourishing faith through his Word, so that it is richer, deeper, stronger.
Paul wrote to the church in Rome as a seasoned missionary. He had encountered much suffering. Yet through the beatings, the imprisonments, the spiritual struggles, Paul experienced the wonders of God’s grace. When in mountains of turmoil, Paul drank from springs of living water. So Paul told the Christians in Rome to rejoice, even in suffering.
God, in Christ, has the power to build through suffering. He draws you closer to Christ and opens your eyes to the work of his Spirit in your life.
Prayer starter: Almighty God, through the suffering of your Son, Jesus, you brought about the wonder of salvation. Receive my suffering. Build me through it . . .
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