Joy in Tribulation

Life is full of ups and downs.   Some times everything is perfect and things go very smoothly.  It is during these times we like to say: “God is good!”  We pray for others and ourselves and our faith is strong.  We are happy and smile and show our joy.  But what about when things are not so great?  When money is tight or non-existent or a friend or family member passes on or we lose our jobs or any number of things that we can think of that would make us depressed and not look so brightly on life.  What do we do then?  We become depressed, withdrawn, show a negative attitude, cry, show self-pity, and maybe some anger.   We find no joy when we are having troubles and tribulations.  Where is our faith?  Lets look what the apostle Paul had to say about all this in Romans 5:1-5:  “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.  And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope.  No hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”

Wow!  Paul is telling us that we need to have joy during hard times!  Why would we do that?  That takes work!  It’s easier to be depressed, angry or pity yourself, isn’t it?

But Paul tells us that our faith in God must also cross over from good times to bad.  Having trial and tribulations build perseverance.  It teaches us to be strong, to keep going, and to not give up.  Therefore when you have learned perseverance you wil build your character.  You will be stronger in mind and faith and as your character is built to be stronger and better, you will find hope because you will learn to look at everything that comes at you as a challenge you can face head on but head on with God.  Isn’t that what faith is? 

Paul tells us in verse 5 that hope won’t disappoint us.  Why?  “Because the LOVE OF GOD has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”  How can something that God gave us be disappointing or let you down?  If you have faith and let God guide you during hard times, in the end everything will work out.

Paul told the Church at Corinth “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father o mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ours are comforted by God.”  II Corinthians 1:3-4

So God will comfort us so that we may comfort others as we are comforted.  How great is that?   So God expects his children to rise above their trials and tribulations and find others that are suffering and comfort and teach them so that they may do the same. 

Have faith that God will guide you through anything.  Look for those that are also suffering and comfort them, as you yourself are comforted.  What a teachable moment that will be for a nonbeliever or a lost bother or sister.

Have a Blessed Day

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