Character and Hope during Tough Times
Written By Coach Broome
Main Scripture: Romans 5:3-5
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. (NIV)
So how do we keep good attitudes during difficult times?
Some may see this as an easy question, but in today’s society, is it really that easy to answer. Many times we face difficult times at home and carry that with us to school or work. Some days it may be school or work that cause the difficult times.
So as we discuss today what the Bible says, think about ways in your own lives that you can keep a good attitude and not fall to the worries of the world.
Consider this scenario:
You are at school or Church (man did I really say difficult times happen at church?) and your friends decide to separate themselves from you. They seem to be more interested in other friends and don’t have time to even speak to you or they don’t acknowledge your presence at all, how do you respond? Do we sit at the lunchroom table and become mad and think of ways that we dislike the group? Do we decide to just go hang with someone else? Do we decided to just let it be and go on with our lives?
I think we can all say we have been there at some point, maybe even been in the group that treats someone else bad. I know as a teen, I found myself many times in the group that shunned others. I have also been the one that was shunned from the group. As bad as I want to say I never responded badly, I CAN’T!!! There were many times when I became so hurt that I would find faults in the others or even make comments to them that I shouldn’t. Yes, there were times when I sat at the same lunchroom tables as you and made choices that I regret as an adult. To be honest, if the tables I sat at today were my lunchroom table, I make some of the same mistakes. The one thing I can tell you, is the older I get, the more I try to not make those mistakes. Today I am going to talk abut some verses and how we can use them daily to make the best out of a bad situation.
Do these situations affect your character?
Before we answer this question, lets discuss what character truly is. It can be said that it is what you do or think when no one else is around, but I like the definition that says character is “the true nature of your heart”. Wow, so what I feel in my heart is who I truly am?
Think about the scenario above. The way you responded is who you truly are? At that given time the answer would be yes, but guess what…… It isn’t the true you or hopefully after today it will be the true you.
If you responded negatively, it was probably because you were hurt. If you went on about life and let people treat you that way, then it was probably because you were hurt or wanted to stay with that group. What if you responded positively and didn’t hang with that group but you didn’t hold it against them either, that is what we hope to be.
Hope is another word I want us to look at today. Hope is defined as “the confidence of expecting good because of God’s promises”.
Man that is deep if you think about it. Whether it be the scenario above, COVID-19 virus, or any other difficult situation, we are to have confidence and expect good things because of God’s promises. How often do we face difficult times and bank on something good coming from it because of God’s promises? I know as a teenager and many times now as an adult, I don’t go into difficult times with this in my mind or on my heart. We are to gain “hope” the most after coming through a difficult or tough situation.
As young adults, you are expected to show good qualities of “hope” and “character” during bad times. I wish I could tell you this is an easy task, but it is not. You all face many more factors that can make a tough situation a terrible situation. As young Christians, we have someone to fall back on when we face these times, GOD!!! Not only will He always have your back (unlike your best friend at times), He has given us a book that if we ever face tough times we can find the answer written out for us.
Paul says, “character produces hope because God has put an all-the-time reminder in our hearts”.
The spirit of GOD lives in each of us and should remind us daily of His love and promises to us.
5 For you have been my hope, Sovereign Lord,
my confidence since my youth. (NIV)
114 You are my refuge and my shield;
I have put my hope in your word. (NIV)
Some questions to discuss with yourself or with others:
How can we keep a good attitude when times get tough?
What can people see about your character during your response to tough times?
As we go through difficult times of todays world, we are told to have HOPE in God’s love for us. Today and the days to come, allow HOPE to be seen through your character and help you make each day a GREAT day no matter what you may face.
In closing, I want to issue a challenge to everyone that is reading this devotion. Spend just 5 minutes each day (or start with 1 day a week) as an individual or family and find scripture that speaks “hope” into your souls (this may different for each person) and share with someone that you think may need to see a little “hope” that day.
Dear Heavenly Father, allow us to rejoice during our troubled times. Allow us to feel your presence while strengthening us to cope with our daily problems. Have our character produce hope in us and those around us daily. With Your spirit in our hearts, have us live out the life you have set before us. We ask these things in you name, AMEN!
Love and Blessings,
Coach Tim Broome
Transformed Student Ministry