Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
Romans 5:3-5 (ESV)
Suffering in our lives has a purpose. Paul understood this. We would do well to come to understand this too. Suffering is a part of life, whether one is in Jesus or not. It comes to us all. As followers of Jesus we can see suffering in a different light than the world sees it.
As Paul lays it out for us we see that there is a process in our suffering. Suffering is productive. It brings about changes in us. Positive changes. Suffering is a building process that brings us from one point to another.
The listing of what is produced, is encouraging. Endurance, character, and hope, suffering produces hope in the long run. All this is possible because of God’s love. Given to us through the Holy Spirit. That is the defining difference between the world and those that follow Jesus. The Holy Spirit makes all the difference.
When we think about the sufferings we endure in Christ we can know that they producing great things in us. As we go through these things we are becoming more of what God wants us to be. As the sufferings shape us and mold us we become more of what we need to be to help others.
Think back on your life and the things you have endured and how they helped you to become who you are today. Having endured what you have has enabled you to be a source of encouragement for others.
So, as you endure suffering it has its purpose in your life. It’s developing you as a follower of Christ.
© 2014 Leo J. Woodman