A while ago Bryan and I went to a funeral for the father of a friend. And during the service the pastor talked about how this man’s favorite Bible verse was Romans 5:3-5 which states this “Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not disappoint, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”
The pastor admitted this was the first time he heard anyone claiming to love this Bible verse, but he wasn’t surprised because if anyone understood suffering it was this man.
You see our friend’s father had struggled with MS for decades, to the point of being severely handicapped for a long time.
On top of that, his wife was diagnosed with cancer three different times, and it eventually took her life.
On top of that, his daughter was born with major allergies that has kept her from living a normal life.
And yet everyone who knew the man talked of his continued optimism and hope while he repeatedly told everyone how blessed he was.
We rejoice in our sufferings because
suffering produces endurance,
endurance produces character,
character produces hope
and hope does not disappoint.
Because our God of love has poured that love into our hearts and His Spirit carries us through.
You could put it this way – We can rejoice in our sufferings because God does not disappoint.
Trust me, I don’t like suffering anymore than anyone else. I will run from suffering as hard and as fast as I can. Especially when my children are involved. But what if suffering is the very thing that drives my children to see they need Jesus desperately and also helps them to realize what a good God He is?
Believer, I don’t know what God has in store for us. But may we learn to rejoice in our sufferings. And may suffering produce in us endurance, which turns into character, which gives us hope.
Hope that does not disappoint because of the amazing love of our God.