Unshakable Hope

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)

Trials Can Make Us Stronger

makes us stronger
I never thought that I would be using a quote from the atheist philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche in one of my blog posts, but…

This quote came to my mind the other day and I began thinking about it and the man that wrote it. I spent most of February sick or recovering from the flu and other health issues. What little strength and energy I had before the illness has finally returned in the last few days. I’m definitely not physically stronger than I was before the illness. But I do feel spiritually stronger than I was before my battle with “that which did not kill me.”

As an atheist, Nietzsche only believed in the physical world so I can only assume that this quote was referring to trials making people (himself) physically and/or emotionally stronger. I wonder if he still believed those words while lying helpless and suffering from the effects of Syphilis for the last eleven years of his life.

As someone who has relied on caregivers for even longer than Nietzsche had to (ALS, not Syphilis), I empathize with the helpless, the suffering and their caregivers. But I feel great sympathy for those that do not place their hope and strength in Christ, regardless of the state of their health. I feel sympathy because, like Nietzsche, the “strength” and “hope” that they derive from physical/temporal pleasures do not provide genuine and lasting joy or peace. As King Solomon concluded, it’s “all vanity.”

I am convinced that the following is the only strength that can be gained from “that which does not kill us”:

“…we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed (strengthened) day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18)

There are so many great earthly pleasures and blessings, but not even the best of them deserve our hope. If Christ is our hope, the pleasures we enjoy on earth will be so much more enjoyable because we’ll have our priorities in order and we won’t have to rely on the physical/temporal things for happiness.

aim at heaven
“For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.” (Romans 8:24-25)

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110 thoughts on “Trials Can Make Us Stronger

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  1. If that’sthe case,I should be able to bench press a Buick.Just kidding. (kindof)Thank you for following my blog., I’ll look forward to getting to know you better.Debbie

  2. “If Christ is our hope, the pleasures we enjoy on earth will be so much more enjoyable …” I thanked God yesterday for: bringing us to a new home where we are within walking distance of a Ice Cream Store, the new grass growing outside that’s beginning to cover up the mud, my new hospice patient who is the biggest Army football fan I’ve ever met, and the strength to console our son who is suffering through a broken, discinigrating marriage. How is it that a God so big can love someone as small as me so much to bring me His hope in ALL which touches me.

    …because He can.

    Thanks for that warm hug & reminder!

    Blessings my friend!

  3. Hope you are feeling better…
    I know for sure you are stronger…
    2 Cor. 4:16-18 one of my favorite passages… Thanks for sharing a great encouragement!

  4. I missed your posting… I am so sorry to hear of your February issues but I am so glad to know that you are better. It seems that with each wave of sickness there is less strength in the human body but more strength in the spiritual part–that is not a bad thing. I wish and pray for the best as always. Take care! – Amy 🙂

  5. I’m glad I read your blog, many times we forget to be thankful for just the breathe we take daily. Through our pains and suffering we are not alone. Our heavenly father is with us and will see us through once we don’t loose our faith in him. All the best to you in your health and continue to strengthen your spirit. 🙂

  6. Pingback: “Trials Can Make Us Stronger” 3/16/2015 by my Bill Sweeney, stricken with ALS 18 years ago | God's group

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