Purpose in Suffering: Character Produces Hope

Romans 5:3-5
New King James Version
3 And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces [a]perseverance; 4 and perseverance, [b]character; and character, hope.
Two sets of laboratory rats were placed in separate tubs of water. The researchers left one set in the water, and found that within an hour they had all drowned. The other rats were periodically lifted out of the water and then returned. When that happened, the second set of rats swam for over 24 hours. Why? Not because they were given a rest, but because they suddenly had hope! Those animals somehow hoped that if they could stay afloat just a little longer, someone would reach down and rescue them. If hope holds such power for unthinking rodents, how much greater should its effect be on our lives. (Today in the Word, May, 1990, MBI, p. 34)
Hope is a confident desire and expectation that something will come to pass. Hope is an important component of faith for the bible says that faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
When we allow hopelessness to creep into our lives then we lose the desire to live and we give up just like the rats in our story.
Proverbs 13:12 NKJV
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, But when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.
Hope differed is hope that has turned into disappointment which leads to hopelessness and this makes the heart sick. Is it not a wonder that we are constantly told to keep hope alive? Even the Bible says that these three remain, hope faith and love but the greatest of them all is love.
Suffering gives us the opportunity to build up endurance. The more we endure the stronger our character becomes. When our character is built up we remain hopeful even when times are hard.
Abraham our father of faith was able to stay hopeful concerning Gods promises because his character had been built up in God by what he and his wife had gone through. The same applies to David and Joseph. These three patriarchs had to hold on to Gods promises and keep hope alive despite the challenges and struggles they had to endure.
Romans 12:12 “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer.”
Reflections
What are some situations that you have totally lost hope about? Why?
Why have you placed your hope in God? (Assuming you have done so)
From your understanding, what is the connection between character and hope?
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