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Tested and Approved

[Paul] doesn't just say, "We rejoice in the midst of suffering," period. He says, "We rejoice in the midst of suffering because it produces something." What does it produce? Look at the next phrase in your study Bibles. "We rejoice in the midst of our suffering, knowing that suffering produces endurance. Endurance produces character." Character is the blockbuster term here in Romans (Romans 5), That's the Greek term dokimas, and it literally means "someone or something that has been put to the test and has measured up." If you have ever traveled to the Middle East, you may have taken note of the fact that you can visit a potter and you will look at a vessel, a jar, and it's been through the furnace, and it's been through the fire, and it hasn't cracked. It hasn't broken; it comes out whole. It comes out complete. And you turn that vessel, and you turn that jar over, and on the bottom there is stamped DOKIAMAS. It means "approved." This is a vessel of character. It has withstood the test of the furnace where it has been refined, and it hasn't broken; it is whole, complete. That's character.

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