From the May 24th reading
Where is there hope in this world? Where do we find our hope?
READ: Romans 5:1-5
Romans 5:3-4
Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. (NIV)
  • “Not only so” – refers to “we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God” (V. 2b)
  • “We rejoice in our sufferings”
    • Imprisonment, beatings, hunger, abuse, etc.
    • They considered it all joy!
  • Suffering produces perseverance
  • Perseverance builds character
  • And character brings hope


  • Rejoice in any and all suffering for His glory
  • Suffering produces perseverance and godly character
  • Tested character results in hope!
  • Our hope is found in the glory of God through Jesus Christ (V. 11)
The Sobibor Nazi concentration camp was set in the scenic woods near the Bug River, which separates Poland and Russia. The natural beauty of the setting stood in stark contrast to the stench and horror of the camp, where torture and death awaited every man, woman, and child who arrived there. On October 14, 1943, Jewish slave laborers in Sobibor surprised their captors by using their shovels and pickaxes as weapons in a well-planned attack. Some of the Jewish prisoners cut the electricity to the fence and used captured pistols and rifles to shoot their way past the German guards. Hundreds of others stormed through the barbed wire and mine fields to the potential safety of the nearby forest. Of the 700 prisoners who took part in the escape, 300 made it to the forest. Of those, less than 100 are known to have survived. Most were hunted down by the Germans and executed. One of the former prisoners who lived to talk about Sobibor was a boy named Thomas Blatt—or Toivi. Toivi and two companions started their long journey through the dense woods. Every morning at daybreak they buried themselves in the woods to sleep. Every night they made their way through the trees and thick brush. After four nights of wandering through the cold forest, the three boys saw a building silhouetted against the dark sky in the distance. With smiles on their faces, they eagerly approached it with the hope that it might provide sanctuary from their enemies. As they got closer, they noticed that the building they had seen was a tower—specifically, the east tower of the Sobibor concentration camp! They had made one giant circle through the woods and ended up exactly where they started. Terrified, the three boys plunged back into the forest. But only Toivi lived to tell about their awful experience.[i]
Many people spend their entire lives trying to escape from a life without meaning, only to find that they have been traveling in circles. They pursue pleasure, entertainment, and materialism. And more often than not they find themselves right back where they started – trapped in a prison of meaninglessness that denies them hope and freedom.
Life for the believer does not have to be this way. Life doesn’t have to be without meaning. We don’t have to chase after the things of this world to find our purpose, and life does not have to be without hope.
This hope that we have does not mean that we will not have suffering. Jesus Himself warned us that we would suffer (Matthew 10). Peter tells us “do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you” (1 Peter 4:12). As followers of Christ we can expect that there will be persecution and suffering. But that does not mean that we have to lose hope.
Romans 5:3 says, “Not only so, but we glory in our sufferings”. Why? “Because we know that suffering produces perseverance”. Then it goes on to say that, this perseverance develops character and that character brings hope.
One author explained it this way: “As believers suffer, they develop steadfastness; that quality deepens their character; and a deepened, tested character results in hope (i.e., confidence) that God will see them through.”[ii] We are surrounded by people who are trapped in a maze with no way out. There is no ray of hope shining through the clouds to show the way. They have chased after so many things only to find that they only lead to another dead end.
Proverbs 6:23 says, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death”. But, we have found the Way. He has set us free, and no matter what we go through or how dark it may seem, our hope is found in Him. We have been set free from the maze, and we have found the Light!
Have you found your hope in Him? Or are you still chasing after shadows that lead to nowhere? Do you know someone who is still trapped? Show them; tell them there is a way out. Have them follow you as you follow Him!
Pray that God will show you that He is there, that He is the Light. Pray that He will give you hope and joy while you are in the maze of life. Pray that He will let you be a light to someone else today.
Each week’s Monday Motivation is taken from the reading schedule found in the Life Journal. If you are ready for the next step in your discipleship, then order yours today or see me for a copy.
If you would like help in growing in your faith, or if you would like to know how to have faith in Him, then please contact us at (928)636-2949 or email me at
[i] Taken from Youth Specialties Hot Illustrations: Sobibor
[ii] Witmer, J. A. (1985). Romans. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, p. 456). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

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