Romans 5:3-4 "Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces HOPE,..." Psalm 25:25 "Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long."Matthew 12:21 "In his name the nations will put their hope.”[a]Do you ever find yourself thinking about the crucifixion of Christ at the same time as you celebrate the birth. In essence, do you ever think about Easter when you are preparing and celebrating Christmas (thats a better way of saying it). I know that I do. As a father of 6 kids, it's hard for me to think about them growing up, living a Holy and blameless life, and then dying a criminal's death on a cross. God sent His only son to be born in the flesh as a baby, to live perfectly, for the purpose of becoming the atoning sacrifice for all sin for all of humanity. Suffering was a part of Christ's entire life. In relation to where he was pre-birth (Heaven) earth is a place of fallen-ness and suffering. Not only the general suffering but the specific suffering that he went through during His public ministry. He was constantly battling the Pharisees, Sadducees, and hostile critics and spreaders of "fake news." Yet He did so with love, mercy, grace, peace, patience, kindness, and so on. Christ knew suffering like we will never know suffering. Why did He do this? So that we could have HOPE on 2 different levels. So we could have HOPE in the moment of right now and so that we could have HOPE for all eternity. Going through divorce, feeling alone during the holidays, sickness, loss of every kind can all lead to feelings as if we are suffering. That feeling is real...and it really stinks. God wants us all to know that we have HOPE and things are not going to be like this forever, it's a season that you/we may be going through however seasons have beginnings and they have ends. There is an end to this suffering and in the midst of this season, God wants you to know HOPE- His HOPE. David reminds us of that in Psalm 25:25. God also wants you to know HIS HOPE/Jesus for all of eternity. Peter talks a ton about this in 1st and 2nd Peter. When we focus on our suffering, we find despair. When we focus Christ in the midst of our despair, we find HOPE. It's a choice today, so choose Christ and choose HOPE.