How can suffering, hardship and trouble make anyone rejoice? Our text verse is number five from Romans 5:1-5. Last week’s reading assignment was Psalms 77. This wonderful passage shows that our God is sovereign, working all things after the counsel of His own will and that He is full of compassion for His beloved saints. This makes Romans 5:1-5 a good companion passage for Psalms 77.
In our last lesson we asked the question, “where does affliction come from?” Ultimately tribulations and afflictions come from God. Sometimes directly from God as we saw in Psalms 77:1-9. The idea that God does not bring tragedy and suffering upon the people of the world is erroneous and not a Bible based concept. But, why do afflictions come? For the child of God, afflictions always come for our good. Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [his] purpose.” Even in this verse we notice the sovereignty of God, working all things according to His own will.
Sometimes tribulations and afflictions come for chastening. I shall not take the space to print out this passage, but read carefully Hebrews 12:5-11 and 2 Samuel 7:4-17. Chastening may not be for every little thing, but what may seem small to you could be deemed serious to the Lord. Sometimes chastening is to try our faith as he did with Abraham. I realize that I am giving you a number of Scriptures to read, but please do, you will thank me later.
Tribulation indicates suffering: How can we glory in suffering? We must believe the promise given to us in the Bible (Romans 8:28). We must trust God that it is for our good (Romans 5:4). Romans 5:3 teaches us that tribulations perform, accomplish, achieve patience. Patience is the same as endurance. There are things in this life that we must endure for the cause of Christ and the truth. See 2 Corinthians 4:7-10. Peter stated in 1 Peter 4:16 “Yet if [any man suffer] as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf…” It is much easier to compromise than it is to stand for Jesus. But Paul stated in Philippians 1:21 “For to me to live [is] Christ, and to die [is] gain.” Also, take a look at Galatians 2:20; “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” We rejoice knowing by faith what the end result will be. Romans 5:3, patience or endurance, Romans 5:4 experience which means maturity of character and integrity, and Romans 5:4, hope. Our hope is built on the promises of God: He shall not fail; therefore we shall never be disappointed if we trust Him.
Jesus is our example in suffering. Hebrews 12:1-3 explains that Jesus’ suffering encourages us to take comfort in our suffering. His suffering was out of love for those who were not lovely. Jesus suffered for the sins of people like you and me and not for His own sins. Philippians 2:6-8, “Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” E-mail, johnpruitt@frontiernet.net

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