Rejoicing in Trials

Romans 5:1-5

Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. 2 Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of highest privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.

3 We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they are good for us — they help us learn to endure. 4 And endurance develops strength of character in us, and character strengthens our confident expectation of salvation. 5 And this expectation will not disappoint us. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.

 

All of us in life have problems;

  • being sick
  • someone who is rude to you
  • an argument
  • feeling lonely
  • not enough money
  • difficult work

We have all had these problems and there are many more.There are many reasons for problems:

  • Sometimes it is because other people are sinful and they do something wrong to us. For example, an evil person may steal from you.
  • Sometimes it is because we have done something wrong. For example, if we gossip about our friend and our friend finds out, our friend may not speak to us any more.
  • Sometimes it is because something bad happens to the place we are in. For example, our house is washed away by a tsunami, or there is a war where we live.
  • Jesus said that sometimes we will suffer for doing right. For example, when we talk about Jesus, sometimes people will mistreat us.

 

There is one reason for problems that is never true: If you belong to Jesus, God is never angry at you.

Romans 5: 1-2 says, “Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. 2 Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of highest privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory. “

Peace with God means that we are no longer God’s enemies. Jesus has made us friends with God. We are fully forgiven by God, all of our sins in the past and all of our sins in the future. The Bible says, (Rom 8:1) ”Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Nothing we do will make God change His love and kindness towards us.

Question: If God loves us, why does He let us suffer?

Romans 5: 3-4 says, “We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they are good for us — they help us learn to endure. And endurance develops strength of character in us, and character strengthens our confident expectation of salvation. And this expectation will not disappoint us. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.”

This is a surprise! This verse says we can be glad to have problems. Who is glad to have problems?

God does not say that problems are pleasant and make us happy. God says that we can be happy that the outcome of the problems are good for us. Problems are like taking a very bitter medicine that cures illness. It takes terrible, but we are glad to have the medicine because we don’t want to be sick.

This is how problems help us:

Endurance

Problems help us learn to endure.
If we always knew what to do in every situation, we would not ask God for wisdom and so we would not learn to think in His ways instead of our own.
If we always had lots of money, we would buy whatever we wanted and soon forget that it is God who gives us what we need because He loves us.
If we were never sick, we would forget that it is God who gives us life and we should honor Him with our lives.
If we never had a problem in a relationship, we would not have a chance to practice forgiveness and reconciliation. We would not understand what God has done in forgiving us when we didn’t deserve it.
If we never fell into sin, we would be proud and think we were better than other people.
If we were never mistreated for our faith, we could easily say, “I am a Christian” without it really being important to us.
Problems cause us to turn to God for help, and then we learn that He loves us and He is strong enough to help us in any problem we have.

Problems help us understand other peoples’ suffering. Nobody can know how sad it feels for their child to die except someone else who has had their child die.

Strength of character

Next, the verse says that endurance develops strength of character in us.

As we practice each of these things over and over – asking God for help, depending on Him, trusting Him, forgiving like He does, praying for each other – these things become habits in our lives.

After a while, our time of worry becomes shorter and shorter as we more and more quickly trust God. We come to know God very well as One who is reliable, loving, powerful and faithful. Our love and friendship with God deepens. We can see His work and sense His presence in our problems much more quickly.

And so we become more and more like Jesus in who we are.

Expectation of salvation

The verse says that character strengthens our confident expectation of salvation.

Through this process, we see ourselves changing. We realize that God has the power and the desire to make us into someone that we could never be by ourselves. Even if other things in our lives are not going well, when we look at ourselves and see that we are different, we know that God is in our lives. This helps us trust Him to keep on working in us.

We remember the verse, (Phil 1:6) “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

And this expectation will not disappoint us. We can be completely sure that in the end, we will stand before God, pleasing to Him.  Why? Because it is based on God’s work and not our own. We don’t have to try to be good enough to please God. We ask God to work in us and we let Him do it.

How does God do it? Sometimes through problems. So when we have problems, instead of saying, “God does not care about me,” or “God, all I want is for you to take this problem away,” we can pray, “God please use this problem for my good. Please teach me about your love through this problem. Please help me learn to be more like Jesus through this problem. God, thank you that you know everything about my problem, and you care, and you will help me.”

Here is God’s solemn promise to you: (Rom 8:28-30) And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. 29 For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn, with many brothers and sisters. 30 And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And he gave them right standing with himself, and he promised them his glory.

God will use every problem in your life for your good. He will use every problem to help you become more like Jesus. He will use every problem to help you draw closer and closer to Him as a Father who loves you very dearly. You can trust Him. He will use it to bring you into His own glory.

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