“We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance” (Romans 5:3)

When my mother-in-law passed away five years ago, she still had in her kitchen the avocado-green refrigerator, stove and dishwasher that she had bought when she and my father-in-law had their home built in 1967.  Do the math.  Those appliances lasted 48 years!  And yes, they were still working when she passed away.  Bet there’s not an appliance on the market today that will last that long.

We like things that last, things that endure.  It’s why we buy extended warranties on our automobiles, electronic gadgets, kitchen appliances.  We want to make sure we won’t have to be putting out money every few years for the same things, so we do the research on the durability of things before we buy them.

I wonder how concerned we are about our own endurance.  I have to say that I really don’t think our endurance is that important to us.  The reason I say that is because of what the apostle Paul wrote in Romans 5:3 – “We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance.”  We like the part about developing endurance in our lives.  What we do not like is how Paul says that endurance is developed in our lives.  Through problems and trials!  No, no, count me out of making that purchase. 

Why don’t we like suffering, even though Scripture is clear that it will bring us the desired endurance we seek?  I believe the answer is a very simple one.  We are too attached to this world.  We go to the people and things of this world to feed our life.  Then when those people and things bring pain and suffering, we frustrate over the torment and discomfort we experience.   

This is a fallen world.  This is a world full of sin.  This is a world full of pain.  That pain shows us that we were created for something better, something more perfect than what this world can offer us.  God wants to use the pain in this world to detach and disconnect us from this world.  He wants us to allow him to be our source of life.  And as we allow him that to do that, we will discover what real endurance is.  If you think about it, God is our extended warranty.