Friday, April 2, 2010

Rejoicing in Trials

It may seem strange, but the Bible teaches that believers are to rejoice when we encounter trials, tests, tribulation, struggles, and suffering. To rejoice means to feel great joy and delight. This seems contrary to logic! How can one feel joy and delight in the midst of suffering? From a normal human perspective this is not possible. But when we consider our trials from an eternal spiritual perspective we see the truth much more clearly. We can rejoice in our trials because ultimately they serve to make us stronger and draw us closer to God.

The Apostle James wrote, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (James 1:2-4, NIV).

Similarly, the Apostle Paul wrote, “Let us also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us” (Romans 5:3-5).

When we encounter tests and trials we develop perseverance – an enduring steadfastness that firmly establishes our faith. This experience cultivates our character making us mature disciples of tried worth. Best of all, the end result is hope – a complete and confident expectation in the fulfillment of God’s promises.

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