“Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces endurance; endurance, character; and character, hope.”Romans 5:3-4
Right after having a stroke three years ago, my brain began to swell dangerously fast, necessitating a craniectomy to remove a portion of my skull. The surgeon’s assistant told my wife that if I survived, my recovery would not be on the days, weeks, or months plan. It would be on the years plan. I certainly did not yet fully appreciate how much endurance would be part of the stroke recovery process. But I am beginning to understand it now, after years of daily therapy.
Through much of life, we try to avoid things which will call for endurance. Endurance means it’s going to be hard, and it’s going to take a long time. Neither is very desirable. The Bible describes endurance in suffering as being beneficial to us. It helps us grow in patience (Romans 12:12, Colossians 1:11), perfects us (James 1:2-4), builds our character, produces hope, and fills us with His Spirit (Romans 5:4-5).
As the process drags on and our endurance wanes, remember that we have a compassionate Savior who endured to the very end for us.
Praise God that Jesus endured on the cross for us and now uses our suffering to make us who He has called us to be.