What is this?
No, it is not a new texting acronym nor is it a chemical formula or advanced math calculation.
So what am I trying to say with these four letters? What do they represent?
For those of you who have been following this blog site, you understand that this is my journey of courage through some rather difficult circumstances and events in my life. Time has moved forward yet the wounds still seem fresh every now and then.
If you ever experienced loss in your life, this message is for you. Here is the translation:
Let us start with the frame of reference for this equation.
“And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance, and perseverance, character, and character, hope.” – Romans 5:3-4, KJV
You may have figured out the four letters but just in case you missed it:
Tribulation can be defined as “a trying experience” according to Merriam-Webster. If you never had one of these, may I suggest that your eyes were closed. We have all had trying experiences and each of us has a unique story to share with others. The question is – “What will you do?”
Perseverance is best defined (according to Merriam-Webster) as a “continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition.” I love this definition! This is the BEST way to crawl out of tribulations in our lives. It is not easy and there will be many times you want to simply “give up” as this would be so much easier to do. However, I would encourage you to eliminate those negative thoughts out of your mind and choose to persevere instead. These are the courageous people who have determined to fight and win!
Character has many definitions including “a feature used to separate distinguishable things into categories” (same dictionary). When one chooses to deliver themselves out of tribulation through perseverance, one has developed a character that will distinguish themselves from those who choose to fail in their own journey. What attracts people to you? In the short-term, it could be temporary fame or fortune but underneath all of that, the long-term attraction is based on character. Think about the people you admire and adore – it is the character of that person that draws you to them.
Hope is the reward when you persevere through your tribulations to develop your character. This is important to survive in this world – HOPE! This word, according to our favorite dictionary, is defined as a verb “to expect with confidence.” I love this definition because our hope, as a result of our journey, gives us the courage to live on! Knowledge without experience is only half the solution, in my humble opinion. Have you ever had someone attempt to comfort you by spewing out quotes, advice, or even Bible verses when they personally have never experienced a similar journey as you are engaged in? You smile, nod, and thank them for their “words of wisdom” yet deep down, in your heart, you wish you could tell them to go away (being blunt here). Do not despair, my friend. Choose to look at it from this perspective – your journey has simply given you a head start for when one day, you will be able to comfort them instead because you DO have the knowledge AND experience to come alongside them with compassion and courage.
So, to wrap this up, keep in mind this formula and hopefully you will apply it on your life’s journey:
Tribulations + Perseverance + Character = Hope