In his book, "The Red Badge of Courage", Stephen Crane writes about a young soldier in the midst of the Civil War who contemplates whether or not he will have the fortitude to stand up to the enemy and fight - or will he run, and retreat.
Once, while the young soldier walked among soldiers who had been wounded, he became jealous of the way in which they seemed "peculiarly happy".
Crane writes, "he wished that he, too, had a wound, a red badge of courage."
It is true that we all want to stand the test. We want to endure to and not lose hope. We want the prize awaiting those who have not given up - but have pressed on, in future hope.
As christians, we may be encounter various trials. Some of them, we may run from. But we should not lose hope.
"For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison," wrote Paul in his letter to the Corinthians.
We know that Jesus ultimately went before us - enduring our shame and our penalty. He took our wounds. He is our red badge. Our courage.
With Him, we can endure - to the end. With Him, we have a future.
Thank you for saving us Lord!