Christine Duncan

Precepts & Life Preservers

Don’t Miss Who We Have Been Given

Every once in a while, I come across a scripture I grapple with.

Rubs me the wrong way.

Especially when that same scripture is applied by sweet and lovely people who think repeating it to you will make everything right. And you try to appreciate their words but in your head you just wish they really knew your battle better.

And trust me, I’m preaching to the choir here, I’ve done it too. Maybe we can start a new initiative? Never quote scripture at someone unless you have the time to really sit down and fellowship with it right into that person’s life and mess?

I know, I’m totally rambling. It’s just that kind of day.

So here’s the scripture that has started this whole rambly blog post.

You know, the one I was so unsettled about.

Until recently, when God once again, had to school me on how to keep reading His Word until I had the full truth waiting for me.

And you’d think I’d know by now, right?

For such a lot of days, I have not appreciated fully Romans 5: 3 and 4.

“We also glory in our suffering, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.”

It’s hard to appreciate a scripture that basically tells you to be thrilled with any personal suffering. I know, there’s a lesson about all the character-building and endurance-growing chances it will give us. I get it. I do.

But I didn’t like it.

In fact, just last week, when describing the season of depression and insomnia I was going through to someone, they launched the ol’ Romans 5 grenade at me.

Lord in heaven, give me grace, and grace abundantly.

But it’s because I was missing the vital ingredient to how to fully love this scripture.

If we read only verses 3 and 4, we get a concise list of what comes our way when we appreciate our suffering.


This scripture is not only about what has been given to us, but who has been given to us!

Friends, we’re meant to read through to verse 5, when all of this makes sense.

Don't Miss Who We Have Been Given

Suffering, perseverance, character, endurance, hope. These are all pretty hefty things on their own.

But we’re not given them without being given something else.

Or rather Someone else.

The Holy Spirit. The Comforter. The One who is powerful enough to thread it all together and tie it up in God’s love for us.

You may have been given a pile of endurance and character-building mess today. And no amount of “one day you’ll look back and know it was for your own good” is helping you keep it in perspective now.

But that’s not all we get when suffering comes a knockin’. We have been given God’s own representative! The Holy Spirit. And He knows how to mold and shape things in a divine setting, while remaining with us personally. That’s empowering news, sweet friends.

We have been given God's own representative! The Holy Spirit. Click To Tweet

Given to us so that we are never alone.

Given so that we persevere with absolute hope.

Given as the holy funnel for God’s love poured out exactly when things are at their worst.

How amazing is that? How much can we really love those words now in Romans! I lift my hands each time I read, to tell Him thank you.

We have something that resides in each of us straight from the Almighty, His gift to us when we accept Him, that is ready and anticipating what’s to come.

The Holy Spirit is not slowed down by suffering. He is not stumped by the hard messes.

He’s God’s proof that He will supply our every need. Appointed by Christ before he left the earth to be what he decreed “The Helper”.

And it’s because of the Helper that we will find a way persevere, that we can find a way to have greater character, that we have a very real hope to hold onto.

I’m thinking His scripture is never the problem.

It’s me. It’s my heart. It’s totally my messed-up and earthly translation of holy promises I forget to pursue in their completeness.

I for one, will be relying more and more on the One we’ve been given.

How about you?


  1. My HOLY HELPER!!! MY HOLY HEALER! I will forever know this! Thanking God today for HIS ever present help in times of trouble. If you had never known the suffering, you would never have known and experienced HIS HOLINESS! This has surely changed my perspective today, Christine.

    • Christine Duncan

      March 21, 2016 at 5:26 PM

      And so much better than just random character building… but a way to remain in Him permanently!

  2. Girl. Lol-The best. Way. Ever. to be blown up… Having the ‘ol Romans 5 “grenade” launched at you!!

    Hang in there, friend. Your rambling head (and heart) is in the sweet spot to get you through–fixed ON and BY Jesus!! 💗

  3. Wow, two things (at least) strike me about this: 1)we were JUST talking about suffering in Bible study this morning. About how the world considers it useless but that Jesus does with it what He does with everything: redeems and puts a different spin on it. And 2) I found a sticky note at my daughter’s place at our kitchen table that said, “Good morning, Holy Spirit.” I asked her about it, and she said her dance teacher mentioned she starts her days by saying that. My teenager said she liked the idea but kept forgetting to do it. (At 6 a.m. on school mornings, I think the first thought in her brain is more like “Noooooooooooooooo!”) So she, of course, made a reminder note. (Like mother, like daughter.) All of which is just to say that I love how the HS popped up here in your post. So glad to “know” you via the blogging world, Christine! #clarinetmomsrule

    • Christine Duncan

      March 22, 2016 at 4:55 PM

      I’m so grateful that He puts a different spin on it, as you say, Elizabeth… nothing with Him is a lost cause, nothing with Him is wasted but used to reveal Himself even more. It blows me away really.
      Have loved getting to know you, girl, through the blogs and social media! Thankful for you! xxoo

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