"Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us" (Romans 5:3-5)
Why does suffering produce patience, perseverance, character, and hope? These are the gold standard characteristics but scarce.
If I had a choice, I would rather purchase virtues from Amazon. I’d have them in 2 days, they wouldn’t cost much—Prime shipping is free after all, am I right?
So why is suffering the primary way we develop good things in our lives?
I think (I could be wrong) when we suffer we look for God. We notice Him. It becomes apparent that He is working in our lives and the situation. This process can be long, but waiting develops patience in us. Patience deepens into a steadfast, steely determination called perseverance. This is where hope shines.
Hope, when you break it down, is a confident and joyful expectation.
In suffering, we anchored our hope to God, who is the author and source of hope. Hope never disappoints because God generously pours into our lives during times of suffering. He shows up and does something special in our hearts—He pours out love and perspective; God smooths our rough edges; He enables us to see others in need and relate to them; God helps turn our focus from inward to outward. Then He uses us to be a redemptive force in this world.
Yes, my friends, in suffering when hope awakens, it is because we know God is with us, and working for us. The process is hard, but the result far outweigh the pain. Our confidence is unshakeable because we know God will always be there for us.
Where are you suffering right now?
Where do you see God “showing up” in this pain?
Reflect on the ways God has poured into your life through the Holy Spirit during times of suffering and pain. Take a moment to thank Him for walking with you through it.
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Original article published July 21, 2009.