Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

Romans 5:1-5

Last week Patrina and I spent several days hiking in and out of the Grand Canyon. I took the photo above near the top of the South Kaibab Trail on our first day of hiking. I think hiking down and then making our way back up to the rim provides a physical picture of a biblical truth found in verses three and four above –

“We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”

The physical “suffering” of hiking up the canyon for a couple of miles is nothing compared to the spiritual suffering all around us. I am sure there are situations in all of our lives right now (I know we’re experiencing them) that provide the opportunity to produce endurance and character and hope – all thanks to the work of God’s love expressed through the work of Christ and the presence of the Holy Spirit.

The problem is that we sometimes never feel like we will get back to the top of the canyon, right? So what do we do? As we learned from a guide this week, we take small steps. One at a time.