Thoughts,Songs,Writings,Rants,Encouragements, and Life

Thursday, August 18, 2005

-Endurance Produces Character-

Romans 5:4
"and endurance produces character, and character produeces hope,"

Today I was doing a study on the sufferings in our daily lives. Divorce, death, accidents, disease, etc. We all have certain unavoidable things that have happened to us. Some of these sufferings scar us and brand us as people, forming us into part of the person we are going to be or even possibly meant to be.

Paul suffered many hardships in his ministry and in his life. He asked God earnestly to take away some of these hinderances from his life. It took Paul three very theripeutical prayer sessions before he finally grasped the lesson that God was trying to teach him.

Paul realized as he shared with us in Romans 5:4 that "endurance (suffering) produces character." Through enduring the pain, we gain character.

Character I found, after a quick word study, is an amazing word. In the Greek version of the New Testament it is a verb which means, "to engrave." It's to take a hammer and a chisel and to chip away at a rock. To "character" something or someone means to sculpt stone into a beautiful work of art. "Character" means to have reached the point when enduring suffering faithfully has engraved a strange beauty upon our lives.

I am reminded of a familiar Goo Goo Dolls lyric. "Scars are suveniers you never lose. The past is never far." Scars or past sufferings claim a certain part of our lives, just as much as good memories or happy moments do. We are reminded of these each day, through song, or recollection by a phrase or sight. The thing to understand here is what are we taking from these moments? What is it that we are continually learning when we face these moments? We are branded with "character". What are you doing with that "character" though?

Paul coninues in verse 4 to say that "character builds(encourages) hope." With the character being etched into our lives it gives a greater appreciation for our salvation. Through enduring suffering we begin to understand life, the cost of grace, and the need for a savior.

We learn from our suffering and I believe we are called to share what we have learned from this suffering with the world around us. Not so we can understand how to cope with suffering, but to encourage one another in the building up of character and understanding the amazing Hope we have in Christ Jesus.


Anonymous dreameagle said...

yeah, but the process is a hard one. Good to have friends around who can support you as well.

Good insight, thanks for sharing.

10:34 PM


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