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Romans 8:28 and Faith and Hope and Understanding

The blocked quotes below are from the book How to Be Holy by Peter Kreeft.

As Leon Bloy often said, “Life, in the end, has only one tragedy: not to have been a saint.”

—Ch. 1: Ten Reasons to Read This Book

Romans 8: 28 We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.

…understanding how Romans 8:28 can be possible—is not necessary for us. De Caussade says: “Holiness is produced in us by the will of God and our acceptance of it. It is not produced by intellectual speculation about it. If we are thirsty we must have a drink and not worry about books which explain what thirst is” (p. 25)…. Faith, in every other area of life, comes first, before understanding. How insane to think that it should not come first when it comes to understanding the ways of the infinitely wise God!

—Ch. 8: Faith and Reason: Can We Believe It if We Don’t Understand It?

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It is crucial to know that this is God’s love in disguise; that this suffering means not that you are less loved by God, or judged to be less worthy, but more. Those who do not suffer should worry that they are being judged by God to be unworthy of this gift or incapable of rightly using it….

To say that sufferings and troubles are a blessing in disguise is not, of course, to say that we should go out looking for trouble. Like death, suffering will come; as with death, we should not hasten it; and as with death, we should use it rightly and heroically.

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Romans 8:28 is hope, not optimism. Optimism is a feeling: hope is a certainty. Optimism is a feeling and a prediction about the future; hope is a choice about the present presence of the God who makes suffering a present, a gift.

Jesus did not say, in the Beatitudes, that we should be happy when we are poor or persecuted or hungry. He said we are blessed. Blessedness includes suffering because suffering is a blessing. Suffering is a blessing because it is God’s gift, and all God’s gifts are our blessings.

How can suffering be our blessing? It’s very simple: Suffering is blessed because it brings us closer to Him.

—Ch. 24: Suffering

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