“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.”
Not only do Christians look forward to our eternal glory with great joy (vs. 2), but we also have joy in our present tribulations and sufferings. Why? Because we know that God wastes no tears. He uses everything in our lives, both good and bad, for our good and his glory.
But there’s more. Suffering teaches us endurance like nothing else. Under pressure, we continue to believe. This endurance then produces character. It forms us into the image of Christ. Then this character produces hope. As we see God working, we know he will continue to work in us. And this hope never puts us to shame, especially as we ponder God’s judgment day, because through it all God has poured in abundance his deep and abiding love into our hearts.
We are certain he loves us, even amidst the tough times. This love is experienced by the presence of the Holy Spirit, God himself, within us. We know there is nothing we can’t face when God is with us in the loving presence of his Holy Spirit.
Do you rejoice in your sufferings? Do you believe that God is with you in them? Do you believe he’s working through them in ways you can’t understand? Do you see that in the pain God is giving you more of himself, more of his love?