Rejoicing in the Hard Times

1Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peacea with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. 2Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory. 3We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. 4And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. 5And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. Romans 5:1-5

This certainly seems contrary to our nature and to our culture, doesn’t it? To rejoice in the midst of suffering, trials, tribulation? How is this even possible? We have to go back to the very first sentence in this portion of Scripture to understand HOW this indeed is possible and also expected of followers of Christ. Since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Christ Jesus our Lord has done for us. We stand in this place of undeserved privilege where we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory…what?! Did you catch that? That’s crazy to think of and can we even truly grasp the fullness of what it means?

These verses go on to tell us that when we have trials, they develop endurance in us, strengthen our character, which in turn strengthens our confident hope of salvation. The Holy Spirit’s presence in our life and heart fills us with the Father’s love and assurance and doesn’t lead to disappointment. Wow…He is so good to us. All things are for our good, whether we understand what He’s doing, whether we think they are good or bad, whether we can see an end to them in sight or not. A faith that can’t be tested can’t be trusted. And if we don’t go through the hard things, we aren’t able to see if our faith is real and stands strong.

So there is great hope, great encouragement, and a great purpose behind every single thing that we walk through in this life. Another portion of Scripture that speaks of rejoicing in suffering is 1 Peter 4:12-16 which says, “12Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. 13Instead, be very glad—for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world. 14If you are insulted because you bear the name of Christ, you will be blessed, for the glorious Spirit of Gode rests upon you.f 15If you suffer, however, it must not be for murder, stealing, making trouble, or prying into other people’s affairs. 16But it is no shame to suffer for being a Christian. Praise God for the privilege of being called by his name!’ This goes right along with the Romans Scriptures above. It reminds us that Christ suffered for our sake and that we can have joy when we are honored to suffer in return for His name. We will be glorified in and with our Savior and His sweet Holy Spirit rests on us and gives us the power to endure anything that may come our way. We are victorious in Him! We do not need to fear, but rather rejoice. No matter what.

I have to go…my grandbaby is waking up from his nap. But someone needed to hear this today. God bless you all!

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