It was not looking good. There were already five divorces in his family! He had prayed for a happy marriage and family but would have understood completely if his girlfriend turned down his proposal for marriage. All he could really offer was a stubborn determination to break the cycle of divorce in his family and hope that it would be enough. She said, “Yes!”
Stubborn determination was not enough. It got them through the first couple of years of marriage but after that it was pure toughness on her part. Her “I do” was a commitment to stay the course, tolerating the extensive travel schedule and long work hours that he said were just part of the job. It seemed he was really married more to the job than to her. Kids did not slow him down. There was a selfish ambition that kept his focus on the job instead of in the home. She stayed tough with the hope that it would turn around.
Be Hopeful: “and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” – Romans 5:5. Paul prefaces this with the challenge to rejoice in our sufferings because suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. This is fascinating for Paul to write because prior to his meeting Jesus, he was the one that dished out suffering upon believers in the Way. Through stubborn determination, he persevered and developed a character that was all about eliminating the hope that Jesus’ followers hung on to. Yet, hopeful they remained and hope did not disappoint.
Looking back, stubborn determination drove the man as an “overcomer”. He was overcoming his family history, breaking cycles and trying to prove himself a man in the process. Caught up in his own strength, he never looked to God. But God was looking at him. The Lord provided a glimpse of His glory in the eyes of his wife and kids and the man was convicted. He confessed that his priorities had gotten caught up in the world and he repented. God poured out His love in the heart of the man through the Holy Spirit and a new journey ensued.
Prayer guide: Lord, thank You for the wakeup calls in life. I do praise You for suffering endured as I now see how You are always teaching perseverance and building character needed to navigate through this world. Forgive the arrogant and selfish nature that tends to take so much for granted. Equip me to step into the hope that is You in my life. Thank You for keeping Your hedge of protection around my marriage and family. Most of all Lord, thank You for the hope that never disappoints - the love You have poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit. Amen.
A faithful father is hopeful in the love poured out in his heart through the Holy Spirit.