3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
Romans 5:3-5 NIV
3 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
Romans 5:3-5 ESV
While the two different versions both speak to God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us where we will end up, they both get there a bit differently. Both refer to something earlier Not only so and Not only that, so we will take a look at that first.
1 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God.
Romans 5:1-2 NIV
1 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
Romans 5:3-5 ESV
Again we have a reference to something earlier. The Therefore takes us to chapter four and Paul’s discussion first of Abraham’s justification by faith and because of his faith God credited him with righteousness. Paul points out this occurred before Abraham’s circumcision so everyone, circumcised and uncircumcised alike, may be justified by faith. Then Paul makes his final statement leading to chapter five.
23 The words “it was credited to him” were written not for him alone, 24 but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25 He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.
Romans 5:23-25 NIV
Ah, now the first two verses of chapter five make sense, as believers in Jesus’ death for our sins and resurrection from the dead, God has chosen to justify us and make us righteous. As a result of this grace in which we stand we have peace with God and we boast in the hope of the glory of God (NIV) or we rejoice in hope of the glory of God (ESV). While both versions boast and rejoice are valid interpretations of the Greek kauchaomai (Strong’s G2744) they strike me as odd probably because in today’s churches we seldom boast (hold our heads high) or rejoice as a result of our faith. It is thought kauxáomai likely comes from the root, auχēn (neck), i.e. what holds the head up high (upright); figuratively, it refers to living with God-given confidence. Now that makes sense to me! Having been saved by the Grace of God, we can live with a God-given confidence.
With this in mind our verses of the day make much more sense as well as we can rejoice or glory in our sufferings as they matter so little when we have a God-given confidence in our eternal future. Why because we have hope.
Hope that resulted from our suffering which produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope. We have a hope as a result of our justification by faith and the knowledge whatever we go through we know our final eternal destination.
What makes this possible though, is God’s love for us, the sacrifice of His Son on the cross at Calvary and His resurrection three days later. This love of God sustains us, carries us through whatever suffering we have to experience resulting in endurance, character, and hope. Hope once again! All this because of God’s love
8b God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.
1 John 4:8b-9
God’s love is the anchor for our faith and our hope. And His love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. His love has been poured into our hearts! Thus it is no wonder John says
7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
1 John 4:7-8
The love in our hearts is the result of God’s love being poured into our hearts because of our faith in the works of Jesus Christ. Our ability to love others is a gift from God, given that we might love one another and others. We can scarcely understand such love from God and when we do at some level it is overwhelming leading us to love others in ways we did not know possible.
How much boasting (as noted above) or rejoicing have you been doing because of God’s love being poured into your heart. How much God-given confidence do you have? What are you doing with your hope and God’s love in your heart?