“…We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope…” (Romans 5:3-4)
When I experience difficulties I admit I don’t always rejoice in them. However, I do see how suffering has built up my endurance because I can deal with a lot more challenges today; and I can usually do so with maturity, wisdom, and patience; instead of immaturity, self-pity, and impatience. It’s the unappealing times in life that develop our most appealing character traits. But how in the world does “character” produce “hope?” The below explanation from The Christian Worldview Journal is fantastic:
“Character that has been shaped by God through suffering has amazing abilities that non-character simply doesn’t. It’s capable of seeing beyond circumstances. It knows that God is faithful. It embraces the truth of the Gospel that if God sent His Son, He spares nothing for the good of His children. All this produces hope, that is, the confidence that God delivers on His promises. The stronger the character, the greater the hope…” Suffering, Endurance and Character; The Christian Worldview Journal.
Learning to trust God is a character trait that produces hope as we learn to endure through trials. Trust comes from the knowledge that God doesn’t waste our difficulties. He’s used mine to teach me valuable lessons that have improved my life and allowed me to help other people. Sorrow has intensified my compassion for those who are suffering and wisdom has given me hope that my pain is not in vain; nor are any of life’s challenges. There’s a plan and a purpose in all of it if we are willing to believe, endure, trust, and hope.
“…and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” (Romans 5:5)
- When I reflect on my trials and difficulties, do I see how God has worked through them?
- Do I see any areas in my life where these trails have strengthened my character and increased my hope?