First UMC
Downtown Worship, June 12, 2022
Making Hope a Habit
Locations & Times
  • First United Methodist Church of Lexington - Downtown
    200 W High St, Lexington, KY 40507, USA
    Sunday 8:30 AM, Sunday 11:00 AM
The Apostle Paul is writing to the believers in Rome. While Jesus set his face toward Jerusalem as the culmination of his earthly ministry, Paul set his face toward Rome as he carried his apostolic ministry to the gentiles to the seat of power in the known world. And while he had not physically been to Rome upon writing of this letter, it is obvious that the “power of God for salvation to everyone who has faith”, ie. the gospel, had.

Paul is in a boasting mood: glory of God and sufferings. While sharing in the glory of God may be something to boast about suffering is not the boast. What suffering produces for those in Christ is the boast.

Suffering produces endurance which builds character which leads to hope.

1. Suffering is the state of undergoing pain, distress, hardship.
2. Endurance is the ability to keep going. Jesus said those who endure to the end will be saved.
3. Character is the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual
4. Hope is the desire for something to happen. But Christian hope, brought about by suffering, endurance, and character formation is not a pollyanna-like attitude. It is a quiet confidence, trust, assurance that what has been promised by God will come to fruition.

What we find is that suffering, endurance, character, and hope are a closed end loop of upward movement to abundant life. Suffering can be, and is redeemed by God serving a greater purpose in life.

But...hope doesn’t have to be dependent on difficult circumstances beyond our control. We don't have to go to the pit to develop endurance...there is another way.

Hope can be a habit as we participate in spiritual disciplines that simulate suffering. Particularly as we practice silence, solitude, fasting and Sabbath.

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