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 put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
Romans 5:3-5 NIV
This scripture really touched my heart. How often when things start to get tough and we start to suffer do we turn to God and say, “What did I do to deserve this” or “I really tried to listen to you, but I feel that I didn’t get the point.” So often, we turn to God when times are tough to ask him for guidance and to take away our suffering. The way I take these verses are that it is only through suffering that we can learn perseverance, gain our true charter, and hope so big that we can’t help but be happy.
Wow, that was awesome!
Let’s break down these verses even more. What is perseverance? I grew up in the grange where they always prayed for perseverance. To me perseverance is when you don’t give up. Angela Duckworth would call it “Grit.” The ability to stick with something even when things do go as easily as expected. Faith requires perseverance, being an employee requires perseverance, being the leader requires perseverance, being a parent requires perseverance. I think you get the point, life requires that we have perseverance, or grit. Never giving up is huge. I have been listening regularly to the podcast, “Born to Impact.” These guys are amazing and constantly talk about what it means to have perseverance. They use the analogy of a person who hits a rock 99 times and it never breaks, then he swings the 100th time and the rock breaks open and is full of amazing beauty. If you don’t have perseverance and gave up at swing 99, you would have never found the true treasure.
Let’s move on to character. I consider character to be how we act, and react to every situation that God places in our lives. Our character is formed by the events that happen for us. The way we act on those situations shows our true character. Ill bet that we have been in a situation where our boss was not a a nice guy. Maybe we gave him a reason not to be nice to us, maybe we didn’t. the fact is that we don’t like our current situation. We have the option to allow our character to be one who goes around talking about them behind their backs, or we can bring it up to them and ask how we can fix the situation. The point here is that our character is what makes the difference. How is our character formed? By the situations, God has led us through and our actions during those times. Character is something that can change over time in everyone. We have the ability to grow into the person we are truly supposed to be.
Hope! How would you describe hope? To me Hope is the ability to have faith that things will turn out great. Even in those situations where we KNOW beyond any doubt that it will never work out, having faith that it will work out. Hope is the ability to see the good in others when no one else does. Hope is the light of the world. Hope believes that humanity will take the righteous actions. Hope can be anything you want it to be as long as you believe in it. Hope is knowing that no matter what God has my life and yours under control. All we have to do is sit back, work like heck, and trust that God is guiding the ship in the direction he needs it to go.
The last part of these verses are the hardest for me. They say that it is only through suffering that we can gain all of these things. Why are we so, for lack of better words, dumb, that we have to suffer to gain perspective in this? God knows our path, he knows us before we are even born, he knows us better than we know ourselves.