Rev. Sarina Odden Meyer
Suffering produces perseverance
Updated: Sep 9, 2020
Grace and peace to you through our Saviour Jesus Christ,
“Suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us.” Romans 5:3-4
We have all gone through ups and downs in this pandemic so far. For the most part, we felt that we could do what needed to be done this spring, but deep down we expected things to get back to normal in the summer or even in the fall. Last week Dr. Theresa Tam said that the health and safety protocols that have upended our lives could be in place for 2-3 years. As much as we’ve known this could last a long time, her comments force us to confront the reality that it will. As we grapple with this new reality, I want to encourage us that the suffering we are experiencing produces endurance, endurance produces character, and character produces hope.
It’s hard to find hope as we grapple with the longevity of this pandemic, but the past can help us here. World War I lasted four years. Living through that was terrible. But on the other side of it, Canada saw many good things emerge. The war necessitated the development of new technology that the wider society benefited from in its aftermath. The struggles of the people in the midst of the war inspired the creation of the social welfare system in Canada. The need for more workers compelled society to make great strides for equality for women in all facets of life, including even what they wore: they stopped wearing corsets and started wearing pants!
Sometimes we have to endure suffering and now is one of those times. But God is at work in the midst of it giving us endurance. And the endurance we receive from God produces character which compels us to live for God, not defined by our suffering, but instead inspired by the hope we receive in Christ. Let us follow God through these uncertain times, trusting that God is leading us to something better on the other side.
Many blessings in Christ,