Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance, character, and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us ~Romans 5:3-5
I’ve been hanging on to this verse since the beginning of everything starting to shut down. It’s been such an encouragement.
And though I’m not sure, I personally, can equate my current situation with suffering (there is most certainly suffering happening right now but at best, personally, I’m majorly inconvenienced), it makes a good point.
When circumstances are difficult is when we are most tempted to throw in the towel. I think it’s interesting to note that you can’t develop perseverance without being faced with adversity. We pray for perseverance but don’t always realize that we might also be praying for our faith to be tested.
Yet, as this scripture points out, this is when our character is formed. This is when our hearts are sifted and we have to choice to be discontent or to trust that we serve a faithful and sovereign God. Sure, character is formed in every choice we make and how we react under different conditions but it seems to be amplified during hard times. Our response to difficulty helps set a precedent to how we’ll handle other situations.
Sidebar while we’re on the subject of character: I’m reminded of Proverbs 22:1 “A good name is more desirable that great riches…” Do we want to be known as complainers and quitters or overcomers and encouragers?
Back to Romans 5. The more I think about it, the more it seems like good character and hope are inseparable. We can have a positive outlook and choose to press on because we know, regardless of the final outcome, our God is the still on the throne. Though the result might not be what we wanted, we can trust that it’s for our good and His glory.
Our hope does not disappoint because it goes beyond circumstantial feelings. It’s rooted in the love Jesus showed when He gave Himself for us on the cross. And it’s revealed to us by the Holy Spirit living within everyone who’s made Jesus king of their heart.
Jesus. Is. Hope.
Because of His sacrifice, we are empowered to persevere and develop character in the midst of trials. May we choose to press on in the hope that does not disappoint.