Romans 5:3-5 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
When we were young, my dad taught us an important principle called “delayed gratification”. He also taught us that we could “Pay now, and play later, or play now, pay later.” And whether it was on practicing for basketball, preparing a sermon, or building our bus route, my dad kept that principle before us. Over the years, I’ve seen that to be true in many areas of life.
Paul preached this principle time and again in his epistles and writings. We was willing to be buffeted, to suffer loss, to go through tribulation, to suffer bodily harm, and much more, because of the promised reward on the other side. Here, he exhorts us to go through tough times with patience. Paul teaches us that patience brings invaluable experience in our lives that make our hope in Christ real. We can come out on the other side different, having experienced His grace, and having sought sought His face – for our own good, for the sake of others, and for the glory of God.
Whether in child rearing, my personal walk, a financial situation, or when the tough times come, which they will, let us walk through them by God’s grace, with patience – which brings invaluable experience, and a more lively hope.