Boast in suffering.  That is what Paul tells us to do.  Boast in suffering.  It seems crazy.  Why would someone desire to boast in suffering?  Suffering is not something to boast in, but rather something to worry over and to avoid at all costs.  However, there it is in my Bible, Paul telling me to boast in suffering.

So why would I boast in suffering?  I boast in suffering because of what it produces.  Paul states suffering produces perseverance.  Perseverance produces character and character produces hope.  Hope here means anticipation.  Suffering produces within Christians anticipation.  Anticipation of that day when we will fully see God’s glory.

This anticipation is one that will not disappoint us.  We do not have to worry that what we anticipate will not happen.  God’s love toward us shows that He is going to keep His promise.  What we anticipate will come to fruition.

Suffering is a reminder that there is something for us to anticipate.  It produces within us hope and because of that we rejoice.

But we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; 4 and perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.