Suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint...
There's a quote I have reflected on over the last few months: "Adversity doesn't build character, it reveals it." It's equal parts cynical and fatalistic, I suppose, and we have certainly seen a lot of people disappoint us with their actions, words and vitriol in response to the pressure of the last few months. In the last month alone, my wife and I have been on the receiving end of two screaming rages, in public, by people we don't even know. I know others have seen how these times affect people for the worse as well.
Paul writes in Romans 5 that "we rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us."
I much prefer Paul's perspective in these times, though the two are not mutually exclusive. What's the difference? Perseverance. Paul is writing to believers, people who have received the Holy Spirit, encouraging and exhorting them to rejoice not BECAUSE of their sufferings, but IN THE MIDST OF THEM. How to do that? To persevere, or (in the 60s expression), "Keep on keepin' on." Knowing that there's nothing new under the sun, that all this has happened before and will happen again, and that the two greatest commandments apply no matter our circumstances: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself. And cultivate a heart of hope. Bless y'all, stay safe, be strong and of good courage.
Musings, observations, the occasional whineage and some funny stuff.