Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope… Romans 5:3-4 ESV
Character produces hope…
I always thought imagination produced hope. Imagination that figures out a way through a difficult situation. Or an imagination that dreams big dreams.
But God tells us character produces hope. Not just any character grows hope. Only character developed in the crucible of suffering can result in hope. Endurance is the fertilizer for this type of character. Endurance brought forth in joy because we trust God who suffered so we could live with Him in eternity.
So character refined by enduring in God’s Word and His ways produces hope. While suffering we can point to our loving Heavenly Father and say I will only make it through this by His grace. We trust in His already-not yet victory. So we are able to day, “I am standing today, a sinner washed in Jesus’ blood. A new creation, but still becoming. A stumbling child of God, but walking strong in His grace.”
And there is the hope.
A new creation that God is still birthing new things in and through. Already a child of God, but not yet perfectly perfected. An already righteous saint, but still working out her salvation with fear and trembling. A secure heir, who longs to bring glory to my Father, but often falls short. This is what it means to have character that produces hope.
Character that understands who God is and who I am. Character which longs to make much of God and invest the time and talents God gives to matter for eternity. Character that endures suffering for the joy that God promises us in eternity.
Character that doesn’t lie or take the easy way, but instead does what is right.
Character that loves others, walks humbly, and admits mistakes.
Character that trusts God.
There hope grows.