This may seem odd, but up until recently these were my three least favorite verses in the Bible:
Psalm 127:2 "...He gives His beloved sleep." Admittedly, it doesn't say how much sleep or when, but when I first read this a few months ago, in light of almost three years of extreme sleeplessness, my first thought (from the enemy I'm sure) was that God must hate me. Really feeling and trusting in God's love has often been a struggle for me. I have these amazing moments of faith, but I'm also quick to despair. My newest prayer when I lie down to sleep is that I will feel loved and rested, no matter how much sleep I get. I am coming to accept the truth of this verse even if it looks differently than I expect or would like.
Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." A show of hands please from those who wish that Paul had said "most" instead of "all."
But the one I struggled with the most up until today is Romans 5:5, "Now hope does not disappoint..." When I first took this verse to heart, I was hoping for a miracle, that God would restore to me the two foster daughters whom I'd lost. But He didn't, and I was bitterly disappointed and confused. And it is not only me who struggles with hope and disappointment in motherhood, but many going through infertility, foster care, or adoption. So how can this be true, that hope does not disappoint?
The amplified translation makes things a bit clearer to me. If you can believe it, I just looked up Romans 5:2-5 now, unsatisfied with only writing this post up until the last paragraph. "Through Him also we have [our] access (entrance, introduction) by faith into this grace (state of God’s favor) in which we [firmly and safely] stand. And let us rejoice and exult in our hope of experiencing and enjoying the glory of God. Moreover [let us also be full of joy now!] let us exult and triumph in our troubles and rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that pressure and affliction and hardship produce patient and unswerving endurance. 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.
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaah. The hope of eternal salvation... that makes more sense. I can, and do, hope for a better eternity, even while I am learning to see "the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living" (Psalm 27:13).