A Bible Study on suffering, perseverance, character and hope

In our Archer Coaches Bible Study this morning, we discussed Romans 5:1-11.  The bulk of our study centered on the progression from suffering—-perseverance—-character—-hope.  We got into a huge discussion on perseverance, character and hope.

Here are a few of our thoughts:

When we suffer or go through hard times, we have two choices: quit or persevere.

We live in a culture full of quitter.  People quit on their jobs, marriages, kids, teams, churches, etc.

If we choose to persevere, it leads to character in our lives.

Many experts believe that a person’s character is developed by age 5.

I do believe that a person’s character, good or bad, is largely based on their upbringing.

Developing a child’s character is arguably one of the greatest roles of a parent.

But I do think that character can be developed later.  The verse does say that sufferings produces character.  And then we have the supernatural factor…God is in the life changing business.

But character is not developed overnight.  It is a loooooooooooooog process.

I can teach people skills in a few hours, days or months.  Character development takes years.

A person with good character is on time, returns phone calls/emails, and can be trusted.

Sports develops character: hard work, practice, discipline, winning, losing, attitude, perseverance, etc.  Along with health and exercise, this is one of the top reasons I have my kids playing sports.  Sports teaches us many life lessons.

It is “proven character” that leads to hope.

Even though I wrote a blog last week: I am impressed with Cam Newton’s character, I do not think it is proven.  Only time will tell.  Honestly, I thought I would get more opposing arguments.  Here is a very different opinion about Cam’s character.

Here’s a tough question:  why does character lead to hope?  (Any takers?)

At the end of our passage, it points to the perseverance of Jesus.  We also cross-referenced Hebrews 12:1-3.

Jesus gives us the example of enduring the cross and persevering to the end.

Without Jesus’s suffering and death, there would be no resurrection.

If we want to be lifted up, do we first have to be knocked down?

Ultimately, our hope is in God.  When we go through difficult times, we are to “fix our eyes on Jesus” and “consider Him who endured.”

We are  to go through hard times with JOY.  We are to rejoice in our sufferings.  Why? God is allowing them to happen for a reason.  And if we choose to endure and not quit, then there is HOPE…light at the end of the tunnel.

Application

In what area of your life do you need to persevere right now?  How are you placing your hope in God?

Discussion

I would love to know your thoughts on perseverance, character and hope.  Let’s hear it!

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