Friday, October 9, 2015

Rejoicing in our Sufferings

5:1 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. (Romans 5:1-5 (ESV)
Into this grace in which we stand. I always marvel at this because there is no if. We always want an if. I think we often supply an if for ourselves. An “if we endure” “if we rejoice in our sufferings”. But there isn’t one. We just stand in the grace. It isn’t dependent on anything we do.

No, we don’t jump up and down with every tribulation that comes along just can’t wait for it to happen again. This isn’t about masochism. But it is this, that we stand in grace, so we have something for which to rejoice even in the midst of our sufferings. The world would like us to believe that somehow this is proof that God is not benevolently disposed towards us, I mean if God was pleased with us we think he would give us what we want, spare us from trouble etc. We have no reason to believe this at all. In fact we know God gives all people their daily bread even all evil people. He doesn’t let their enmity against him in this world have any bearing on this one way or the other. On the other hand, faith in Christ opens us up to greater attack by the prince of this world. We also know that he was well pleased with his Son, and his son was not spared the agony of this world in any way. But it is precisely in his son we have reason to rejoice amidst our sufferings, because he rose from the dead. Our lord has the final say, whatever it is that we endure in this world we know it doesn’t compare to the full weight of glory waiting for us. We can suffer our sufferings, even as we rejoice in our blessings. 

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