Wednesday, 24 April 2013
… and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Romans 5:4
The previous verse noted that tribulation produces perseverance. From that point the perseverance produces character. Some translations state here “experience” instead of “character.” It is true that experience is gained, but that is not the sense of what’s being relayed. Experience can result in admitting defeat as much as it can result in obtaining strength. Experience therefore isn’t at all what is intended by this train of thought. Rather, perseverance is the experience and it results in character. When one perseveres, they will be grounded with fortitude and strength.
Once this character is developed, it leads to hope. Hope is that great virtue which says, “What I long for will be realized.” When we have hope we have internal surety. The thought from Hebrews 12:2 carries us through this entire process – “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus.” When we look unto Him, we can glory in our tribulations thus producing perseverance; our eyes are fixed and our thoughts are steadfast. When we persevere we develop character and our convictions become evident as we continue to look to Him. Once this character is grounded, our eyes look to Him in hope of all that He has promised. Truly, there is no greater assurance than that which comes through an intent and unwavering gaze upon the Lord.
Life application: Either the Bible is true or it isn’t. There is no middle ground. If it is, then it is all-sufficient to lead you to an understanding of what is necessary to be reconciled to God. No matter what happens in your life, hold fast to the word, fix your eyes on Jesus, and have faith that your hope will be realized by the God of truth.
O Lord my God, thank You for life’s trials which have molded me and strengthened me. As they’ve come, I’ve often felt that they were more than I could bear. But as I look back on them, I realize that they were given to refine me, build me up, and shape me to be a person of faith. I can see the wisdom of every trial I’ve faced and I thank You for being with me through them all. Amen.