Romans 5:4 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Romans 5:4, NIV: "perseverance, character; and character, hope."

Romans 5:4, ESV: "and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,"

Romans 5:4, KJV: "And patience, experience; and experience, hope:"

Romans 5:4, NASB: "and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope;"

Romans 5:4, NLT: "And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation."

Romans 5:4, CSB: "endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope."

What does Romans 5:4 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Describing the fantastic benefits that come with being justified by God's grace through our faith in Christ, Paul began the previous verse by saying that we "rejoice in our sufferings." He does not mean "we" in the sense of all mankind, but in the context of those who express faith in God, as exemplified by Abraham. Paul also did not mean by this that we feel happy when things are hard. Instead he showed that, for those in Christ, suffering is an opportunity to move closer to God and to grow in our faith. Suffering for the believer, Paul wrote, produces endurance, the ability to continue trusting God for longer periods of time and through more difficult circumstances.

Now he adds that this battle-tested faith of endurance produces in Christians the quality of character. Christians of character choose to keep doing the right things on a consistent basis. The pattern is that suffering causes us to trust God on a deeper level, and the more we trust God, the most likely we are to consistently make right choices. We become Christians of proven character.

Character, too, produces a new quality in us: hope. In the context of Romans and the New Testament, "hope" is confidence that God will deliver what He promised. Hope implies some level of certainty that we will receive God's good forever. Hope defines the baseline or a "bottom line" for a Christian's thoughts and emotions. No matter what comes along, we are fully convinced that our ultimate end will be sharing in the glories of God forever.