Our text verse is number five from Romans 5:1-5. Also read Psalms 77 To many this verse may seem to make no sense. How can we possibly be happy in tribulations? How can suffering, hardship and trouble make anyone rejoice? But as mere man, we tend to look at everything through the eyes of the flesh. To fully understand this passage we must look at it through the eyes of God. The only way to do that is to prayerfully study the word of God. The only way that you are ever going to know the mind of God is to know what He says in His word, the Bible.
The preceding verses teach us a very important principle about being saved. It shows us our position before God and the reason for that position. “Justified;” that is, cleared of all crimes against God; as if we had never sinned. “By faith;” faith is the vehicle or channel by which God’s grace is obtained. “For by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves…” John 3:18 “He that believeth on him is not condemned…” “Peace with God;” means that no longer are we enemies of God as we are told in James 4:4 “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” Whether the unbeliever feels so or not, he is in fact an enemy of God, Christ, and the cross. “Access by faith;” we are taught throughout the Bible that we have direct access to the throne of God. See Hebrews 4:15-16. It is true that I can pray for you, but if you are a true child of God, you can pray for me also and you can go directly to the heavenly Father. You can do it boldly because you bear the blood of Jesus Christ. “Wherein we stand;” God’s grace given to us through the blood of Jesus is our foundation. We stand in hope of the glory of God, because we are assured that Jesus’ blood will make us justified in his presence. “We glory in tribulation;” the word glory in verse 2 is DOXA, meaning “the manifested perfection of God’s character, excellence and majesty.” In verse 3 the word glory is KOW-KHAH-OM-HMEE which means “to boast or rejoice.” We do not boast in our ability to withstand tribulation, but we do rejoice that we are counted worthy by His grace to suffer for Him. Acts 5:41 “And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.” “Tribulation;” this word is the same as affliction, trouble persecution or anguish. It means “to press or to press together.” It has to do with trials of this life. Many of God’s people have been persecuted in time past for their refusal to compromise the Bible.
Where does affliction come from? Ultimately tribulations and afflictions come from God. Sometimes directly from God as we see 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. Either He is sovereign or He is not. God allowed the Israelites to become slaves in the land of Egypt. He brought tribulation upon them for their sins of idolatry and rebellion. Sometimes they come indirectly. God allowed Satan to buffet Job by taking everything that he had including his family to demonstrate the presence of His holiness in Job; see Job chapter 1; 1 Corinthians 5:1-5 and 2 Corinthians 12:7 where the Lord gave Paul a thorn in the flesh to buffet him, showing him that His grace was all that Paul needed.
Next, we will show why afflictions come, and how the Lord Jesus Christ is our example of suffering and affliction. E-mail, johnpruitt@frontiernet.net

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