Suffering Produces Endurance
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. (Romans 5:1-5)What about the phrase, "suffering produces endurance"?
When we were talking about this in class, none of us like the word, "endurance." It sounds hard and as if one had to suffer long and hard to achieve it. In fact, one of the runners in our class said, "Endurance is what you need if you are going to have to suffer even longer." (paraphrased by me).
It doesn't sound like good news - the benefit of suffering is that we are able to suffer more?
But think back to the promise we have - God is with us. And think back to yesterday's post - in suffering, if we look, we will find God. So, in suffering, as we search for and find God, we find something else. We find endurance.
It isn't the kind of endurance that runners develop through more and longer running. It is endurance that is given to us; a gift of grace. We find endurance because it is God's endurance. We find the ability to make it through suffering, not on our own strength, but on God's strength.
In suffering, we find the presence of God, and in finding God, we find the grace of God's ability to carry us through. We find the God's endurance - not our own.
And that is good news.