The Bible uses the word “endurance” (sometimes translated as patience) 32 times in the New Testament. It’s a combination of the words “under” and “remain,” literally meaning to remain under challenges we face. One of the most famous occurrences of this word is in Romans when Paul says that “we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope.” (Romans 5:3, 4 ESV).
Remaining under adversity produces character and that character produces hope. The writer of Hebrews says, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the races that is set before us” (Heb. 12:1). Attaining, building, and running with endurance begins to build character that, in turn, produces hope.
Enduring hardships becomes challenging when we don’t completely rely on God. Enduring our afflictions aides in the comfort of our fellow brothers and sisters in their time of need: “If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings we suffer” (2 Cor. 1:6). Putting God first means that we learn, as difficult as it is, to endure. Endurance comes at a great cost. But when we endure, we become invaluable to others who are suffering also.