That’s what it says in Romans 5. It’s the most amazing thing too, because it’s not a mathematical formula that man could come up with, only God could make that happen. What it says specifically in Romans 5:3-4: “Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. ” So, suffering also produces character, the two things are intertwined with hope!
I’ll tell you why I thought of this passage, it’s because our Pastor’s wife Mary is going in for a treatment today for chronic migraines. She’s had a migraine basically for the past 2 years. She cannot sleep hardly any more (not very well anyhow) and she’s lost weight, she suffers quietly with these things. We prayed for her last night because we want to give God the glory if and when this new treatment works.
In the meantime, as I was saying about suffering, I liken it to the earthquake in Haiti, on January 12. When I was down there in March/April we saw unimaginable suffering, despair, in the midst of an already poverty stricken people. But, the Haitians go on — they “Persevere.” They are a living testimony to this formula that God gave us for how suffering produces hope and character.
We should all take up one another’s suffering, and lay each other on mats and be willing to cut a hole in the ceiling so that we can lower our friends and those suffering down through the roof and lay them at Jesus’ feet. That’s the kind of faith I want to have, the kind that recognizes the God of the Universe can make it all better with His word. I want the kind of faith that knows suffering produces hope in us!