February 3, 2012
Romans 5:3-5 “Not only so, we also rejoice in our suffering, 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.”
Suffering does produce perseverance. I know! I have been persevering for 3 1/2 years! I have seen a lot of suffering here and I have experienced my share of suffering as well. And in prison, there is nothing you can do except push through. Of course you can get lost in depression or blame God. But when you patiently endure and cling to God and trust that He has allowed this suffering in your life, it builds up your character. Another version says “tribulation works patience; and patience, experience…”
The more life experiences you have, the more you build character. And the stronger you become for the next experience. And the great thing is that these are God experiences! He brings them on. And that’s what we have hope for. That He’s getting us through this! Hope is what happens as God carries us through life experiences. We have hope that He will be there for the next… and the next… and the one after that. And then hope is a natural instinct – all because of the suffering that God allowed us to go through in the first place.
“And hope does not disappoint us!”