Rejoicing In Trials

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And 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 5:3-5)

No one delights in suffering. It’s not natural to rejoice as we lose our job or wade through relational conflict. It doesn’t feel good to disagree with our spouse or be the recipient of an offensive comment. We like when things go our way—so when they don’t, it’s unsettling.

When Paul wrote to the Romans, he addressed their problems and trials. Yes, we live in a land where sin abounds. Yes, there will be political strife and moral decay. Yes, the future would be filled with question marks and suffering may lie ahead.

But Paul said we can still rejoice. How? How did he expect them to do that, and how does he expect us to do that today? Because of what we know.

Paul says we know what Jesus Christ has already done for us. We know how we stand in this place of undeserved privilege. We know that our endurance is being developed. We know our character is being strengthened. We know our confident hope of salvation will never disappoint. And we know how dearly God loves us and how He has given us the Holy Spirit.

So even when our plate is full of trials and challenges, we can have peace—because we carry this inside knowledge. We can look ahead and know how it’ll all pan out. Since God showed us His great love by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners, certainly He will not abandon us now. He will use it for good. Salvation is coming.

• How well do you know the Bible and God’s promises—are you familiar with His storyline? If so, do you trust His narrative and His promised ending? The more we know, the more we can rejoice in our current challenges.

• As a friend of God’s, you can approach His throne confidently and boldly. In prayer, lay your trials before the Lord today and find peace in knowing that He will help you in your time of need: “Lord, this is my plight and my biggest heartache: ___________. Bring your truth to light and help me to remember your promises, so I can find peace in the hope that does not disappoint.”

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