Romans 5: 3-5 “we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. 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.”
Another reason God allows adversity is to develop character. Paul wrote that through Jesus we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces character.
But how does suffering produce character? How can anything good result from something so painful? During suffering and we come to the end of our endurance and call on God for His help. We realize this situation is too monumental for us handle alone.
Though doctors weren’t able to help Ray, I knew that Jesus is the Great Physician, and if His will, Ray could be healed. So I tried to disregard all unfavorable doctor reports and believe that Ray might be allowed to live.
I’m not sure at what time during Ray’s illness he decided that death was eminent, but he had accepted the truth and gave me some details concerning his funeral service. I believe many days while he sat in silence, that he was doing much soul searching, and in his quiet way communing with God. During that time character was being refined and strengthened for a final battle.
When the death angel came to Ray’s hospital room on tenth floor of Baptist Medical Center, Sunday afternoon of September 30, 1984, Ray took his last labored breath.
Heavenly Father, You’re aware the night before his death while under oxygen, and I was out of his room, Ray told our children to take care of their mother. It takes character to think of the welfare of others while dying. But Ray did, and from the cross Jesus told John, His beloved disciple, to care for His mother. Thank You, Father, for loving others. Amen.