A little over six months ago I was at one of the lowest points in my life thus far. I was bound by a severe stronghold. This stronghold had me stuck in a seemingly endless cycle of sorrow, loathing, and fear for years; and I saw no way of being able to break the chains that held me. In my darkest hour I cried out to the Lord, asking Him for His help, for His forgiveness, and for His mercy. This I did, (for the first time) from a true place of repentance. Then out of the darkness the Lord answered and pulled me into the light. Psalm 107:14 says “He brought them out of the darkness and the shadow of death, and broke their bands apart.” By His mercy, grace, and love, God delivered me and brought me out of the darkness; out of the shadow of death, and He broke the bands that held me. He truly set me free.
If this wasn’t miraculous enough, He kept working in my life. I truly felt the gifts of the Spirit working in my life for the first time. I felt true joy, true fortitude, and true hope. However, I can remember along with these gifts, came an attack. There were times that I was initially reflecting on this period, still feeling a lot of sorrow and a lot of guilt. I had felt that my choices, and this stronghold, had seemingly wasted many years of my life. I had a hard time dealing with my foolishness and my sin nature and I had a feeling that all that time was for not. Then one day I was riding the bus, and really digging into the Word and this verse was revealed to me as if the Lord was speaking directly to me. Romans 5:3 says “but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character, and character, hope."
You see, when I was at my lowest I felt that I had no hope. My character was lacking and I felt that I had no perseverance to get through. But through this time and through these trials, He had brought me to the place where I could have an attitude of true repentance and surrender and through that, I was set free. In being set free I was able to walk in the light, and through walking in the light I received His gifts. Through these things God has produced perseverance, character, and hope in my life.