Suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us. Romans 5:3-5 (NIV).
There are three benefits to perseverance:
Firstly, perseverance produces character. The only way you’ll mature as a Christian is by growing in your character. Now get a hold of this. Character’s everything – it’s absolutely essential. You’ll never be able to contain or sustain God’s purpose for your life without a certain level of character. There are no short cuts. You don’t get character by having someone lay hands on you or pray for you. Character can’t be imparted or imported. Character has to be developed on the inside. It has to be learnt and developed through perseverance.
Secondly, character produces hope. When you respond the right way when you’ve been wronged, your perspective changes. You start seeing the big picture. You start seeing God’s plan for your life. You start seeing God as the One who’s bigger than your circumstances and bigger than your problems. This is how character works to produce hope. Hope is seeing things from God’s perspective even when everything looks bleak. Listen. Joseph’s hope was deferred for thirteen years while he languished in prison. David was anointed king of Israel and had to wait thirteen years before he could take the throne. Paul was anointed as an apostle and had to wait thirteen years before his first missionary journey. And if that sounds like a long time to wait, remember Abraham waited twenty-five years for the son that God had promised and Moses waited forty years in the wilderness before he could fulfil God’s destiny for his life.
Hope deferred is not hope denied. God is with you now. You may feel shackled to grief, incarcerated by depression, locked in pain, or in a dungeon of despair, but God’s still with you. He’s bringing comfort, bringing deliverance, bringing healing, and bringing answers. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them” (NLT).
Thirdly, hope produces an appointment. Romans 5:5 says that “hope does not disappoint us.” The word disappoint is the opposite of appoint. If hope doesn’t disappoint us then hope must appoint us. Hope produces appointments for you. And the appointments hope produces are divine appointments.
So hang in. Don’t give up. Persevere. Because perseverance produces character, character produces hope, and hope produces a divine appointment. Praise the Lord! Hebrews 10:35-36 says, “Do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord, no matter what happens. Remember the great reward it brings you! Patient endurance is what you need now, so you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised” (NLT).