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.
We’ve all read the stories of the underdog athletes that gained their fame the hard way. The movie stars that went through the darkest times before their names ended up on boardwalk. A couple of my favorites are Michael Jordan, of course from the Chicago Bulls Dynasty team, and Robert Downey Jr., now the well-known Iron Man from the Marvel Movies.
Michael Jordan was cut from the varsity high school basketball team because of his height and fought hard to maintain an opportunity to play on the JV team leading to his college ball record breaking. Robert Downey Jr lived with a father that forced him to smoke weed at the age of 6 and continued to struggle for years with substance abuse, even after the fame began. They got through things the hard way…
Not exactly related to this verse, but the topic of perseverance remains in that we as believers are to have JOY in our suffering? To have confidence in our joy during suffering knowing that the results will lead to endurance, then strong character, then hope?
Michael J could have stopped any time… given up on his basketball dreams. What would Marvel be today without IRON MAN?
When we hear stories of the “cinderella” life that turns to greatness, we must admit there is inspiration and power for others… even better, when we experience a true CHANGE of heart through GOD and faith that breaks our OWN LIVES free from the traps of sin and shame and catapults us into a new life of His Glory there is SO MUCH POWER to give to others and BELIEVE in the WAY of LIFE. This WAY of Life truly lifts our spirit despite the circumstances and hardships that would otherwise crush the Michael’s, Robert’s, and Brenden’s efforts to push on.
The thing is…. nobody likes going the hard way… heck , we don’t even appreciate the easy way most of the time. Yet endurance in our faith is KEY to growth. Endurance through hardships is the MOST effective heart changer and love creator in man. For how can a man that has everything truly know what he needs?
God’s love poured into us by the Holy Spirit is unlike any accomplishment. So different than any trophy or engraved star on a sidewalk. His Spirit blessing is an eternal blessing. It is beyond the world and the finite and has an effect that is far more reaching than a lifetime on earth.
So we go on, enduring, joyful, and yearning for the “next” thing… good or bad, remaining focused on the King. It’s taking the high road and it comes the hard way …