This passage of scripture has been my rock through various seasons of my life. I am grateful that I memorized it as a young woman because in times of adversity it floods my mind and helps me look at my journey and not the actual trial. "And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us." Romans 5:3-5.
There are so many significant and meaningful words in that scripture. I look at it like a map leading us down the path through the fire to the victory on the other side. We begin our path as the trial begins not in fear or dread but exulting. That is really mind blowing and counter intuitive to what is our natural inclination. Let's think about the definition of Exult (to feel or show triumphant elation or jubilation). I find that humorous because 99% of the time it will definitely be show not feel for me. I won't feel at all like feeling elation that I'm about to go through a very difficult trial or period but I can show/behave with elation as I know God's words are true and He will walk with me through the path I am about to undergo. It refocuses my mind to know it is about to get hairy, but I have a lot waiting for me on the other side of the trial. I begin with exulting and then, "I know that the tribulation will bring about perseverance". Perseverance (Persistence in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success)...not giving up. The trial grows me to become stronger where I do not give up. I keep going; I keep walking down the path through the trial. I do not run to the left or right I walk straight as I am exulting in the growth that is happening to me. As I persist I attain Proven Character. It is the next part of my journey. Proven, I love that word, (demonstrated by evidence to be true). Character defined as strength of mental and moral qualities distinctive to that individual. Proven Character is tried and true. It is a result of being victorious through trials that have come before. This trial might be a super big one, but I got this. I have PROVEN character and I am about to gain some more. Finally, I have Hope. Hope never disappoints because Hope is inside us. It's the Holy Spirit, it's the love of God poured out within our hearts. It is the gift Jesus gave us, His Spirit, the Helper. I have hope in Him.
When I break down the trial like this, not at the end but at the very beginning, my thoughts and most importantly my heart are not afraid. I am crushed but not destroyed. I will end this trial with more Proven Character and rest in the Hope God has given me pouring it out in my heart to fill me with strength, dignity, and Character.