“3Not only so, but wealso glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. “ Romans 5:3-5 (NIV)
As I journey through the wilderness, I struggle and persevere. I make myself arise and continue the journey, wherever it may take me. I persevere in my spiritual and family wilderness journeys because not to persevere would imply quitting, and I am not ready to quit.
In perseverance, I grow in character. I arrive at new obstacles in my journeys, but I remember persevering in the past, and I continue on. I strive to avoid the character mistakes of the past. I continue to repeat my mistakes and make new mistakes, but I strive to learn and continue on, for I am not ready to quit.
But, then, I get to hope. The journey has been long, steep, and winding. Though I persevered and developed character, my hope is weak. I fear the path ahead, and for a moment in time, I am ready to quit. The perseverance and character that has guided me in the past seems so faint now as I look for hope.
Then, as a gift, hope arrives. I didn’t make a list on how to develop hope, I received it as a gift. I still do not know what the future holds, but I have the gift of hope.
With hope, I look back at perseverance and character, and I realize that they also were a gift.