Study with us;

The Apostle Paul writes, “we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” Romans, 5:4-5 NIV

“Perseverance (5281) (hupomone [Word Study] from hupo = under + meno = abide) ( means literally to abide under and so describes a bearing up under trials in a God-honoring way so as to learn the lesson for which they have been sent, rather than attempting to squirm out from under them in an effort to be relieved of their pressure. Hupomone is the strength to bear up under plus the persistent application of this strength and is ultimately not a grin and bear it attitude/action but a supernatural work of the Holy Spirit.”

When I read things like this, I wonder….If our sufferings do not produce perseverance? That is, we fail the test? What type of character would we have? And, is it then possible to have hope?

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About Debi

I live in Leesburg, Virginia where I teach high school students in the Agriculture Department. Additionaly, I am self-employed as a horticultural consultant and landscape designer. "Beefriend the Bees!" and "Neither Here Nor There" are children's books I wrote and illustrated available from Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias=aps&field-keywords=Deborah Chaves&x=12&y=25. Other interests include singing and playing my guitar (also have a CD for sale on Amazon called "Gardening Therapy"); walking my American Bulldog, Cloud and Olde English Bulldogge, Sky; staying active in my local church, and blogging on the www.thedailylily.com.

16 thoughts on “Study with us;

  1. “What type of character would we have? And, is it then possible to have hope?”

    From reading the scripture in Romans 5 it seems it is a step building process beginning with suffering and ending in hope and that no step of perserveerence or character can be ommitted in order to end with hope. So if we don’t have a godly, holy character with evidence of the fruit of the spirit (“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” Gal 5:22-23), then we won’t have hope..will be hopeless. Failing the test would seem to me to produce an ungodly, unholy character with no hope to have anything other than that because the steps were not followed to pass the test.

  2. I wonder if working to OVERCOME in a trial or test (rather than just enduring it and allowing it to proceed) would then still be “building of Character”
    Jesus, when He was going thru His temptations and trials with satan OVERCAME with the Word of God. He persevered thru the Word. He didn’t allow it to go on and on. Each time He conquered it. It seems that when our trials come, it is how we handle them, like Jesus did, deftly and swiftly, that causes our character to gain integrity. And in those cases, HOPE would not be frustrated because we ‘overcame’ thru the Word by the Holy Spirit.
    If failing to overcome them (by the Word of our testimony) I suppose we just let them take us down. So an answer to your question could possibly be…if we let the trials take us down, over and over then it seems little hope is available because we have frustrated the grace of God to overcome in the first place.

  3. “bearing up under trials in a God-honoring way so as to learn the lesson for which they have been sent, rather than attempting to squirm out from under them in an effort to be relieved of their pressure.”

  4. 1 Peter 1:7 ESV / 18

    So that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

    This says to me that bearing up under trails and allowing God’s hand to work in your trials and testing step by step will cause many who hear your testimony and those who prayed and stood by you to be filled with hope and God will receive the Glory and Honor that the orchestrator deserves. If no testimony the people do not receive the hope or the knowing of a Mighty God was at work and as
    Sara’s earlier poem states – “we leave carcasses all about”. Let’s not leave dry bones in our connections but tell the story of Jesus and quicken them to move about for Jesus.

  5. Peter says in 3:15, “But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the HOPE THAT YOU HAVE. But do this with gentleness and respect,”
    That is the HOPE that makes us not ashamed because we KNOW what Christ has done on the cross for us. And I have gone from a lonely, lost, prodigal past to a new life in Christ Jesus…always being forgiven and perfected and renewed and most of all being loved by the Lord Jesus Christ and the Father….the hope of glory, that is, being in Heaven with THEM. That’s the HOPE…eternal salvation. It makes one repent and turn around from ugly ways and paths upon which we’ve strayed. It urges us to give up the “old man” who keeps popping up in our minds and sometimes, hearts. That eternal HOPE spurs us on to take the correct steps as counseled by the HOLY SPIRIT in the Word of God.
    Paul says in Romans 1:17, “The just shall live by faith.” And James says, “I will show you my faith by my good works that I do.” And I might say….my demeanor and my attitude and my willingness to change what needs changing.. Do I have HOPE? Yes, but it is up to me to follow the rules. Here they are as quoted by Sara, above….
    “Because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” Rom. 5:4-5

  6. It would seem we have ‘learned the lesson’ when the willingness to change has resulted in a change that shows our character is more conformed to the image of Christ.

  7. Read with me the footnotes for Romans 5: 3,4. “For first-century Christians, suffering was the rule rather than the exception. Paul tells us that in the future we will become, but until then we must overcome. This means we will experience difficulties that help us grow. We rejoice in suffering, not because we like pain or deny its tragedy, but because we know God is using life’s difficulties and Satan’s attacks to build our character. The problems that we run into will develop our perseverance–which in turn will strengthen our character, deepen our trust in God, and give us greater confidence about the future. You probably find your patience tested in some way every day. Thank God for those opportunities to grow, and deal with them in his strength (see also James 1:2-4; 1Peter 1:6,7).
    Sure is hard to be thankful for the hard times, but if I’m understanding this scripture, it sounds like we need to look at difficulties as a chance for God to do something great, in our life…if we look to Him. Am I getting the correct understanding?

  8. Needles, I’m with you on the “sure is hard to be thankful for the hard times.” And I agree with your concept of it…..that we need to look at difficulties as God’s opportunity given us to allow Him to mold us and into the character of Christ. That means that, Hopefully, we will be more like Paul was in that he could stand with his feet in the stocks and sing praises to the Lord Jesus and get people saved. He could be beaten , striped, stripped, stoned, slain (and rising up again after the stoning and prayer) and all the while his eyes were on our lovely Jesus Christ for Whom he had become a bond slave to God for the salvation of souls and for the Love of GOD.
    So when someone despises us, or slanders or lies or mocks or scorns us and the teachings from the Scriptures…..when someone rejects us for the cause of Christ or speaks evil of our Gospel, then we must do spiritual warfare and rejoice. Rejoice to be counted worthy to be brought through these trials with prayer and supplication and the Power of the Holy Ghost. Paul was able to die to self and call all the things of the world that he had attained ….”rubbish”.
    There’s a chorus that goes: (Rev. 5:10_

    “IF WE ‘DIE’ (to self) WITH HIM, WE SHALL SURELY LIVE WITH HIM
    IF WE ENDURE WE SHALL SURELY REIGN WITH HIM
    HE HAS MADE US KINGS AND PRIESTS TO SERVE OUR GOD
    AND WE SHALL REIGN AND WE SHALL REIGN.”

  9. That chorus sure makes things clear, MG. Jesus is very direct in warning us that death to self isn’t an option if we are going to follow Him but a requirement. The Message version (Luke 9:23-27) describes this bluntly.
    “Then he told them what they could expect for themselves: “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat—I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you? If any of you is embarrassed with me and the way I’m leading you, know that the Son of Man will be far more embarrassed with you when he arrives in all his splendor in company with the Father and the holy angels. This isn’t, you realize, pie in the sky by and by. Some who have taken their stand right here are going to see it happen, see with their own eyes the kingdom of God.”

  10. “If our sufferings do not produce perseverance? That is, we fail the test? What type of character would we have?” Hum….would we have any character at all, I’m wondering?
    Heavenly Father, help us persevere. In Jesus name.

  11. I’m wondering also. But I think we would or could have character? Just thinking and wondering?

    ‎2 Corinthians 5:15 He died for all, so that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but only for him who died and was raised to life for their sake. (GNT)

  12. Yeah, Needles….what kind of character, indeed! If we never persevered but complained and griped and questioned the Lord all the time about the things He allowed in our lives then I guess our “character” would result in…. Selfish, self-serving, pity- seeking, untenable, obstinate, and opinionated. When we don’t learn the lessons from which the Lord has allowed in our lives in the first place, we might become…well…obnoxious! Not much character in obnoxiousness.

  13. “God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”

    Hey, what happens to all that love? I hear a lot of “I love you”…but not much love you going on!

  14. “If I speak with the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have LOVE, I am only a sounding gong or a clanging cymbal.” Lot of that going on in churches across the globe! (me included, sometimes. [sad]
    BTW.” Love is patient, kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, not proud. doesn’t dishonor others, not self-seeking, not easily angered, (oops)!! Keeps no record of wrongs. Love rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres”…[there’s that word PERSEVERE, again]
    ALWAYS, LORD? ALWAYS?? Oh Father, forgive me. Sara’s right….not much love going on, here. It reminds me of the song my school choir sings: LET THERE BE PEACE ON EARTH ..and let it begin with me. Maybe it should sing: “LET THERE BE LOVE ON EARTH AND LET IT BEGIN WITH ME”

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