Thursday, March 27, 2008

Hope and Endurance

HOPE AND ENDURANCE

(January 2002)

 

“For everything that was written in the past was written to

teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of

the Scriptures we might have hope.” (Romans 15:4, NIV)

 

You may have read the story about the “piano teacher who was

affectionately known as Herman. One night at a university

concert, a distinguished piano player suddenly became ill

while performing an extremely difficult piece. No sooner had

the artist retired from the stage when Herman rose from his

seat in the audience, walked on stage, sat down at the piano

and with great mastery completed the performance.

 

“Later that evening, at a party, one of the students asked

Herman how he was able to perform such a demanding piece so

beautifully without notice and with no rehearsal. He

replied, ‘In 1939, when I was a budding young concert

pianist, I was arrested and placed in a Nazi concentration

camp. Putting it mildly, the future looked bleak. But I knew

that in order to keep the flicker of hope alive that I might

someday play again, I needed to practice every day. I began

by fingering a piece from my repertoire on my bare board bed

late one night. The next night I added a second piece and

soon I was running through my entire repertoire. I did this

every night for five years. It so happens that the piece I

played tonight at the concert hall was part of that

repertoire. That constant practice is what kept my hope

alive. Everyday I renewed my hope that I would one day be

able to play my music again on a real piano, and in freedom.’”

 

I’m sure that some of our readers at this time are facing

great hardships and may even be in peril for their life.

The Apostle Paul knew what it was like to experience great

hardships, shipwreck, whippings, and being thrown into

prison for his faith. He was the one who wrote today’s

Scripture verse encouraging the Christians in Rome (who if

they weren’t going through persecution at the time would

soon be) to find encouragement and hope in the Word of God.

May you and I do the same.

 

Suggested prayer: “Dear God, in times of hardship, despair

and suffering, please help me to keep practicing my faith

every day, putting my trust entirely in you. And please

bring me through triumphantly to the last day when I will

see you face to face and know you as you are. Grant that

this hope and the encouragement from your Word will keep me

enduring to the end. Gratefully, in Jesus’ name. Amen.”

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