“As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.” (James 5:11, NIV)

Suffering is the “tax” that all of God’s creatures pay for the corruption of Creation. In a perfect world, suffering would not exist. Yet, our world — though wonderful and good in so many respects — is not perfect.

Suffering is difficult, inconvenient, confounding, and often expensive in time and treasure. If you do not think suffering to be a blessing — you are correct to think so! It is perseverance through suffering that we admire. It is fidelity through adversity that we cheer.

The blessing in perseverance is not the “finish line,” but the course (whether it be an obstacle course, a race course, or a course of study).

Perseverance not only reveals the nature of our character, and improves it; it reveals God’s character for what it has always been: Full of compassion and mercy.  – Luther

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