Our Character In Our Time Of Pain

As I was reading Romans 5:3-4 today I came to the word character. What exactly is character and how do we develop it in the midst of chronic pain? Paul tells us:

We rejoice in our suffering...
our rejoicing in our suffering produces endurance...
our endurance produces character...
our character produces hope...

So the first step in developing a Christ-like character while suffering is rejoicing IN our suffering. This means a purposeful focus on Jesus and on eternity-knowing that this pain is only for a season. We will one day be with Him in heaven forever! Amen. This fact, along with recognizing how amazing the Gospel is, will cause us to rejoice, knowing what we have been saved from!

The second step in developing Christ-like character is when we rejoice while we suffer the Holy Spirit helps us to endure through the pain while rejoicing! Endurance is shown to us in Hebrews as one running a race. The race is our lives. We are called to continue running, to endure until the end. This means CONSTANT focus on the Lord as well. If we let the things of this world cloud our focus on our Savior we easily feel like we cannot endure and we may give up! But God calls us to endure because He says endurance in this life, this race, leads to Godly CHARACTER.

Have you ever reflected on what this word means? Our endurance leads to this in our life. Our character...our moral strength, our integrity. It changes us. Makes us more like Christ as we continue to suffer-rejoice-endure...and then finally our changed character produces in us hope.

We can look back and see the work of Christ in our lives in the midst of suffering and we can be thankful for all He has done for us through our suffering, hopeful of what is to come.

The exact opposite is true, then...

If we don't rejoice in our suffering it leads to discontentment.
Discontentment leads to discouragement.
Discouragement leads to dissatisfaction.
Dissatisfaction leads done the path few return from. No hope.

Pray today for God to show you the way of rejoicing in His purpose in your life!


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