We also got to hear from three of our interns tonight: Shoeman Williams, David English, and Christian Shaheen. These interns shared their stories and a message of hope with us. We looked at Romans 5:1-5:
Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. 3 And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 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.
These verses say that suffering leads to endurance, endurance to character, and character to hope. This is the pathway that Paul challenges us to follow. This path from endurance to hope does not mean that suffering won't happen, but rather that when it comes, we have the endurance to withstand it.
As Christian defined for us tonight, hope is an alert expectancy. It means that we're alert to our surroundings and God, and we're expecting for Him to show up. This is a complete mindset shift from the suffering to the positive outcome.
Each of the interns shared with us the ways in which this kind of hope has been present in their lives. Each person's story ended with the realization that the things that we go through push us to place trust in a God that calls us to a better future -- one without pain and sorrow. These kinds of sufferings also allow us to build trust with the community around us in the support that we receive in these times.
The interns reminded us that our stories don't end here. They end with hope, restoration, and Jesus.
Whatever you might be going through, CCF opens its doors to everyone. We have great staff and interns who are always willing to sit down and talk with you whenever you need them. If you would like to get in touch with any of them, visit http://www.gtccf.org/staff/ for contact information!