The Outcome of Suffering

Romans 5:3 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 put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
Suffering leads to hope?

What a strange concept that Paul brings forth in Romans, and yet it defines a significant truth of the Gospel of Christ. In seasons of difficulties, it seems that suffering leads to pain and discouragement. Logic would say that suffering leads to weariness and fatigue. But life in the Lord is not natural because it is supernatural. The supernatural transcends logic. The issue is we try to use logic and our power to overcome our suffering, when we must instead rely on faith and the power of God to transform our suffering.

First, suffering produces endurance. This is not a call to “toughen up” during seasons of difficulties. This is not “work harder” because your suffering will produce endurance. This is a call to understand that God is sovereign and in control of our entire lives. Again, Paul is pointing to the supernatural power of God and His ability to turn our suffering into hope. We are not able to endure suffering on our own forever. We might be able to endure for a little while, but we will eventually grow weak. We are called to endure not through our own power, but through the power of the Holy Spirit. Endure in the knowledge that the Lord is in control and He will bring us out of our suffering.

Secondly, endurance produces character. Enduring in the knowledge of the sovereignty of God produces in us a Christ-like character. Not all endurance leads to godly character, but endurance that relies on God’s power and authority produces in us the heart of Christ. Christ lived a life full of suffering and hardship, and His suffering for us revealed His perfect character. We on the other hand are not perfect in character, and therefore our suffering at times reveals our sinfulness. When we trust and rely on the Lord it redeems our sinful nature and grows in us the character of Christ.

And finally, character produces hope. The more in which we suffer, endure, and grow in the Lord, the more our hope in the power of God is strengthened. The more we rely on the supernatural power of God to strengthen us during difficult times, the more we are convinced that the Lord is strong and capable of all things. Suffering indeed produces hope, because God proves to us His strength revealing His character of love and kindness. Suffering gives opportunity for the Lord to show His ability if we submit to Him.

There will be times when we encounter suffering and it does not lead to hope, because we try to respond to our suffering with our own power and our own sovereignty. We attempt to be in charge and in control of our lives, and our suffering will lead to our demise. But if we trust in the Lord during our seasons of suffering, it is promised that our suffering will lead to hope. Therefore, rejoice in your sufferings because God is faithful and able to redeem your suffering into the hope of Christ.

No Comments




no categories