“And endurance (fortitude) develops maturity of character (approved faith and tried integrity).  And character [of this sort] produces [the habit of] joyful and confident hope of eternal salvation.  Such hope never disappoints or deludes or shames us, for God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit Who has been given to us.” 
Romans 5: 4-5

Father, we pray that those with abortion wounded hearts would continue to climb the hill of hope. Lord, I pray for you to strengthen and encourage these wounded so they can continue with endurance out of a pit into your promises.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

I run.  Hills are not my friend when I run—or at least that is what I think at the time.  However, running hills build strength, endurance and stamina for the race to be ran.  It is tempting when running to stop half way up the hill panting and sweating with a “it’s too hard” mantra chanting under my ear covers.  If I don’t stop, it is surprising what happens.  Instead of dropping in desperation, I strive to the top meeting the challenge and not only survive, but thrive. 

God refers to our faith walk as a race several times in His Word.  In our faith race, we have to go up hills.  The reason we go up hills is because there are simply hills to climb. That may seem obvious, but let me explain further.  We don’t start at the top in our spiritual growth journey.  We are somewhere on the hill, but never at the top.  We may even have climbed half way up the hill of hope, but we should never be content to stop half way and quit.  There is a greater glory waiting.  There is always a greater glory. 

Several years ago, I remember thinking…

“I know I am still in a pit, but I’m no longer at the bottom of the pit.  I believe I am about half way up out of the pit.  But, I think I will just hang out here for a while, in my pit.  I’m tired of climbing and besides I am doing ok right where I am at.
The question in my mind is: Why was I content with the absurdity of complacency?  Why had I settled half way up the hill of hope? 
The answer…I felt comfortable in complacency.  However, comfort and complacency don’t develop character.  Endurance develops character.  Continuing to climb even when the terrain gets rocky or your feet feel stuck in the mud produces patience.  There is one promise we can hold onto even when we are tired of climbing and feel like giving up or think we’ve reached far enough–the promise of hope.  This is a hill of hope.  This journey up the hill will result in not only maturity of character, but joy and a hope that never disappoints or deludes us.  This is a promise and it is a promise worth continuing to trudge up the hill.  If we stop half way up, we’ll miss the fullness of hope God has for us here.