4 And [de] patience [hupomone], experience [dokime]; and [de] experience [dokime], hope [elpis]: KJV-Interlinear
endurance produces character, and character produces hope, ESV
When you learn Bible doctrine, and pursue your spiritual life from within the spiritual sphere, which we call fellowship, then you begin to realize what is real and what is not, what is truth and what is the lie.
You become oriented to the real, realities of life, and can better discern the false things of life.
You know who the players are, and what the plan of God is, and why everything is what it is.
And consequently you wait and wait and become tolerant and patient as life unfolds within you and across the world.
And that develops experience within you. But experience, ‘dokime,’ here means that which is tested and proven or substantiated, as when we put fire to metal to prove or test or verify its qualities and therefore, worth.
And that is what happens to Christians. They, we, are tested, day in and day out.
We are tested with each passing thought, with each decision, with each intention we have for our life.
And this testing and experience or exposure, proves or reveals, the existence or lack of it, of doctrine within our soul.
There are two types of suffering or testing. The first is testing or suffering for blessing and the second is testing or suffering for cursing, which can also be called discipline.
Unbelievers face judgment. They are not family of God, but are outside of Gods family and nation and therefore are enemies, so they face judgment.
Believers, on the other hand, are family and they face discipline. Discipline is for correction. You break a rule and you get your hand slapped.
But we also face suffering for blessing. That is we are put or allowed to face hardship of one kind or another, in order to test our spiritual qualities.
If you break, then you are weak. If you hold up well, then you are strong and proven.
Your saying that you are strong, does not make it so. Your believing it, does not make it so.
All tests are proven by the results of your thoughts, intents and actions.
All tests are also determined by your compliance with Gods will. Namely if you are following His will, namely pursuing a daily study, confessing so you will be in fellowship, functioning within the fellowship sphere and so forth. And notice there is no place for works here. You cannot earn your way through the spiritual life.
So, if you are in Gods will, then all tests are for blessing. They are designed to further and even accelerate your spiritual growth.
But, if you are not in Gods will, then all tests are for discipline, and designed to get you back on track.
Unfortunately too many people look at their hardships and figure that they are being tested, when in fact they are being disciplined.
But in either case, if the end result is getting people looking toward God one way or another, then the objectives of the difficulties are achieved.
However, if folks look at their problems and then get angry at God, then they have missed the whole point of what life is all about.
And finally, hope, ‘elpis.’ This is the confidence that develops from the entire experience of life. From the tests, to the learning, to the resulting orientation to the realities of life, such that you see clearly what is happening and why.
Life is not some ambiguous existence where things will get better, or you have some control over who and what you are, or that if you make your environment better then you are somehow better.
Life is Bible doctrine resident in the soul. Doctrine is truth, and truth in the soul grows into your fulfilment of your meaning and purpose in life, and it points to your ultimate destiny, which is in eternity, not here and now.
So, prepare for all of the tomorrows that are definitely going to come, and endure the junk of today.
Know first of all if you are in Gods will, or not.
Do not just assume, that is the biggest mistake everyone makes.
Know, and know by knowing the facts of what God expects. Namely, beginning with engaging in a daily Bible study and continuing every day, repeat, every day, in that study.
Table of Contents
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.
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