I’ve been pondering the connection between hope and perseverance. Paul says in Romans 5:3-5,
And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 3Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.
Isn’t that interesting? Perseverance begins a process that ends in hope. Well okay, actually suffering begins a process that ends in hope, but suffering is just the context which requires perseverance and I don’t really have any control over my suffering calendar, but when it comes, if I choose to persevere it begins a process which leads to hope.
Perseverance produces character. Character produces hope.
What seems really odd to me is that if you asked me to list the process I would have said that hope begins a process which leads to perseverance. If I have hope I will not give up. But in fact Paul says that if I do not give up I will develop hope. His challenge to someone who is facing overwhelming odds would be… If you are out of hope, don’t give up, hope is on it’s way.
That was confusing to me. When people are ready to give up, I think what they need is hope. Until I realized that hope is a gift. Paul says in 2 Thessalonians 2:16, “Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal comfort and a wonderful hope..” Hope is a gift which Father God gives if we do not give up.
Reminded me of story that most of us have heard. Click and listen…(sorry for two sports blogs in a row!)
See Derek encountered suffering. He did not give up and hope arrived in the arms of his Father. I think that is exactly how God works with us. So if you woke up today to find that suffering had been scheduled in on your calendar, don’t give up, hope is on it’s way. Father God started the race with you, and He has already decided to finish it with you.