When Paul writes in his letter to the church at Rome about boasting in suffering, did you ever think to yourself, “Boasting? Boasting? Heck, I’d rather just avoid it altogether!” I’m pretty sure that we don’t spend much of our time looking for ways in which to suffer so that we can boast about them. Rather, in general, we stay away from suffering, both in our lives and in the lives of others. But the point Paul is trying to make is not that we should pursue suffering, but that it will come on its own. He reminds us that when it does come, we can place our focus on the fact that we have been redeemed by God, as God’s very own, so even in our suffering, our hope in God can be strengthened. And haven’t you found it true? It is in the midst of this suffering that we need the reminders that God’s love and spirit has been poured into us, in order that the suffering does not overwhelm us completely. So, yes, chances are as we walk this life, especially following Jesus, that suffering will find us. But we have been instilled with a hope that does not disappoint and that the world cannot take away. Praise be to God!