By Spiritual Life Team
Not only so, but [let us] also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. (Romans 5:3-4)
The theme of perseverance is reminiscent of a race to the finish line – the heavy breathing and rhythmic steps that help you keep pace. Have you ever run a 5k? It takes a bit of practice, a goal to complete the race and some amount of drive to actually finish. That drive, wherever it may come from, is your perseverance.
Not endurance. We may confuse the two, because the two words do sound alike. Endurance is usually associated with athleticism and is grouped next to words like, agility or speed. Perseverance is your ability to continue on despite opposition and adversity – mental and physical.
But, by the end of the semester, we become tired. Worn out and mentally fatigued, we finish up the last weeks of class, painfully through every keystroke, every sentence and DQ we must submit. You are not alone in this exhaustion that we all feel. Not only are we finishing up the semester, but the year as well.
So what does perseverance have to do with the burning of midnight oil, and typing that last response before 11:59 p.m. hits 12 a.m.? There is the cookie-cutter response of, “Keep pushing through it, it will all be worth it in the end.” But scripture gives us a stronger picture of encouragement with our ultimate hope.
“Through endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide, we might have hope” (Romans 15:4). This idea of hope reflects the verses in Romans 5. Suffering produces perseverance, which produces character, which produces hope. And where does our hope come from; “My hope comes from Him” (Psalms 62:5).
There is a beautiful cycle that begins with perseverance and ends with hope weaved all throughout Scripture. Not only can this be found in Scripture, but found within the pages of our own life stories.
May the Creator in which our hope rests in, keep you and be with you. May God provide you with encouragement and perseverance to keep up so that you may be a better servant of the Lord. Amen.