“And not only that, but we also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, endurance produces proven character, proven character produces hope.”
Proven character. What a profound quality to possess. More than anything in life, a proven character can speak loudly without saying a word. It can influence a world by the example it sets. Whether founded in excellence or established in corruption, the root of a person’s influence lies in their character.
We all watch movies or read books that center around a person who faces some huge adversity and in the end comes out stronger, wiser, and more influential than they were before. Nearly every time the story ends with that person saying something to the effect of “I would never change what I went through because it’s made me the person I am today…”
We watch, we read, we get inspired.
And then we turn off the TV, put down the book, and go about our lives.
When adversity comes we shrink back or run away.
We get caught up in self-pity, asking God, “Why me??”
It’s highly improbable, and I dare say impossible, to walk through life without adversity. This is where we have a choice. Do we run away or do we face affliction with the promise written above; that affliction will produce endurance in us? And that endurance is what is promised to produce our PROVEN character.
Have you ever known someone in life with proven character? Someone who in all circumstances is honest and true, who is reliable, who somehow maintains joy and peace and patience no matter the length or outcome of a trial. You show me that person, and I will show you a person who has walked through affliction. But do you want to know the neatest part about knowing someone like that? Hope seems to permeate their entire being. And it’s infectious. You somehow feel a little more hopeful when they are around.
I think the reason affliction is allowed in our life, and why the writer above can actually say “we rejoice in our afflictions”, is because the outcome produces hope. When I think about Christ, and the afflictions He faced, and the endurance it produced, and the character of a man who walked sinless with endurance… I am filled with HOPE. That hope walks me step by step through every trial, every circumstance, and every moment of the day.
Let us see with new eyes to see what endurance through trial promises to produce:
Let us not forget the importance endurance and character play in producing the final outcome:
Let us look to the author and perfect example of the entire process: