Romans 5:3-5

Saturday, March 18
Dan Lehmann

And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 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.

The hope that abides in my heart and mind is found on the cross and empty tomb—Jesus’ death and resurrection. It is at those places where I find our Lord and Savior, and the blessed assurance of life eternal with God.

It is through his suffering, endurance and character during his path to the cross that hope finds its way into my life. My personal experiences with those three factors pale in comparison with that of Jesus.

Still, I draw strength from his example to handle trials that invade my world. Perhaps the most moving and tangible encounters with Jesus from this text for me are housed in the arts depicting his final days: the suffering on the cross, at the table of his final meal with the disciples, in the garden praying over the course of betrayal about to come, the finality of his human life in the arms of Mary, at the site of the open tomb.

My faith springs from the grace of God, captured in Hebrews 11:1—“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” It is supported and strengthened in the life and trial of Jesus and reinforced by the works of Michelangelo, Picasso, di Vinci, Watanabe and more.

Through Jesus’ example, I aspire to emulate him in my daily life: bearing burdens, living through hard times, doing the right thing despite it appearing to be impossible, and clinging to the truth that we are justified by faith in the grace of our God through Jesus Christ.

Our journey this Lent is to yet again peer into the life and teachings of Jesus, his death and resurrection, and how we can be more like him.

O Lord, may our Lenten observance prove to be a blessing to us and to all those around us. In Jesus name. Amen.

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