The Joy Of The LORD Can Be Known In Your Trials.

 

Only Those who know Him can say

“…we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance -”  The NLT puts it this way, “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}

Rejoice.”- The word Paul uses here is “kauchaomai,” it is a strong word,  basically means, a confident boast. A jubilant exultation. It is a word to use of boasting or exulting over a possession or privilege. It speaks of  great delight, Joyful confidence! The word is in the “present tense” which means  continual practice of the life. Habitual… ongoing…and only as we submit to the Holy Spirit to be filled, controlled and dominated by His Word will this life be possible- { Eph 5;18; Col 3:16}. It is not just grin and bear it or moan, complain, kick and scream at the “unfairness” of it all but the deliberate consideration of what we are to rejoice, have great delight, joyful confidence continually in, or for the privilege and possession He has gifted us.

Paul is not saying that when terrible tragedy happens we are to ignore it as though we are untouched by pain. Or in public, pretending everything is fine when our hearts are broken, heavy. For Scripture teaches Jesus “wept,” uncontrollably.  He was a “Man of Sorrows acquainted with grief.” To The Thessalonian believers who had lost loved ones to death he told them they should not “grieve” as those who had no hope. He did not say, “don’t grieve.” Indeed on His Throne He is full of empathy towards us in our “weakness’s”.-{Read Heb 4:15}. In 1 Peter 1;6 he speaks of the “distress” they were experiencing which means “tearfully sorrowful” and speaks of “mental anguish.” We are told to “weep with those who weep.” Or as the NIV says,”mourn with those who mourn”-{Romans 12:15}. Life hurts at times, painfully, relentlessly so! It is not a matter of having a stiff upper lip, showing no emotion as though to show emotion is a sign of spiritual weakness, being un-spiritual and not trusting the LORD. Life has it’s sorrows and at times a vale of tears. Never undermine someone’s pain, The LORD doesn’t!

Peter too encourages the believers in the midst of their suffering, “distress,” he tells them to “rejoice,” in the greatness of their hope, “In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials,”-{1 Peter 1:6}. Peter like Paul gives us reasons why we are to rejoice amidst our troubles! His “in this,” are the reasons he gives, the blessings of the living hope, new birth,{v3} an inheritance that will not fade or perish, their salvation is kept, guarded by the power of God Himself.-{v5}And we have reasons to praise Him-{v3}

It was in the midst of “fiery trials” that Peter tells the believers to be ready to give an account of the hope within them when..asked. Someone sees something in their lives that is different in their “fiery trials!”… “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,” -{1 Peter 3:15}. They had Hope, that “confident expectation” of a better future, amidst their suffering and it caused others to ask the question of them to explain ‘what is it?’So here was one benefit for the sake of the Gospel that could spring up as the believers handled the trials, suffering, tribulation, God’s way, from His perspective and power for them in their sorrows as revealed by His Word!

In Romans 5 what He is saying, that in the midst there is a hope, a reason to adopt a mindset based on the KNOWLEDGE He has imparted in His Word, that He is working it all for good as He has promised-{READ Rom 8:28-29}.

Out of the pain, suffering, tragedy, God will not waste it but bring good in the assurance of spiritual development arising from the ashes of our suffering, It will not be wasted, in His hands!

It is not that you would ever choose it, but in it because of the knowledge of these verses you can rejoice in what will come forth! God is at work in our deepest darkest sorrows to bring something beautiful forth in our development of character. This is His Promise, that He wants us to know! “To Be fully aware of!”

Suffering for the Christian produces something of eternal value in our spiritual development, where God changes us and puts Himself on display through us.

 

We are not to expect to enjoy the pain, some people do this and are called “masochist” enjoying the pain. This is not what Paul is teaching nor “stoicism” as if they are untouched by pain, to live with a “stiff upper lip”grinning and bearing or showing no emotion, seemingly under control, or the attitude some say to “hang in there,” and somehow positive thinking will get them through. Nothing could be further from the truth.”Cliches” have no firm foundation to derive God’s comfort from. For without the Divine perspective, Divine Power, there is no divine foundation to be assured of in suffering!

Paul in Romans 5 gives reasons for our Hope of eternal security, having being justified we have…, peace with God, access to God, we stand in grace– eternal favor, we have a future Hope of the Glory of God-{v2} and we rejoice now in, not despite of but “in” the present “suffering…tribulations,” troubles, because of what we know that nothing can take away our future glory! We rejoice because we know they are being used by God to produce character.

The word “suffering,” or as some translations use “tribulations” it is the Greek word,”thlipsis. ” It means “pressure” and as used of olives being squeezed to get the oil. It was used  according to the ancient law of England, of those who refused to plead guilty to a crime, had heavy weights placed on their chest and the weight pressed down and crushed the individual to death, this is what “thlipsis,” literally means. It is not speaking of a mild irritation, discomfort but great difficulty. The word “thlipsis” is used 45 times in the New Testament, translated, “tribulation, suffering, harassment, oppression,…”

Suffering can be translated “tribulation, something that causes distress.”

Steele that is tempered made stronger and harder to break as it is put through the right amount of fire. tribulation is as it were the fire that strengthens our faith and makes it harder to bend or break it. As much as we hate them when viewed from God’s perspective they have a Divine purpose for our good. Faith is strengthened when we respond  right in hard times to God, not reacting with anger, resentment, bitterness but in adopting His perspective in our pain, at times through our tears that this too will work out for our eternal good and His honor! As my youngest son once said to me when talking about another subject, “look at the BIG picture!”

“Knowing,”- {eido}  It means to show  a clear perception of a facts! “To be Fully Aware.” Think on that. God wants us, you and me and all His followers to be “Fully aware” of what is happening, what He is doing! How wonderful He is not having us play “hide and seek!” “FULLY AWARE!” Think on that, The certainty, the fact you know what God is doing, what He is producing in the tribulations, sufferings, how reassuring , no it does not ease the pain, heartache but in it you know , “to be fully aware” that you are not left alone, that these tribulations will not have the last word, that will be with God! This word is in the “perfect tense” which means it was giving at some time in the past. When we were Justified by faith by God and continues on…This assurance is also used in Romans 8:28, ” we know…”  We know this as His children… those outside Christ do not. We are “Fully aware” of the fact that what God says will and is happening in our tribulations, this is a reason to “rejoice,” to be joyfully confident! We can rejoice in suffering because we know, “fully aware…” that God is bringing about something of value in us through our suffering!

When you go through  great pressures  you can choose rejoicing, joyful delight, confidence, because of what you assuredly fully know, based on His WORD! This is His grace in action.

“Brings about” -{katergazomai}. The word speaks about bringing about a completed successful action, and it is in the “present tense,” which means continual effect of  what tribulations, suffering, brings about. It means to work something fully and successful out! Think of it this way, when you put pressure on a tube of toothpaste what comes out is what is withing the tube… When a believer goes through any trial, in their life the pressure will bring out what is within… and ultimately what God is working in to come out is the developing of “perseverance…endurance!”

The word,”Perseverance, endurance,“- “Hupomonē”  means to patiently endure.

The more troubles the more endurance is being developed in you. You are spiritually being built up in your faith.

This pressure when responded to rightly is producing spiritual strength in you. And that produces, develops spiritual “character.”

The word “Character,” – “Dokimion” is the noun and comes from “dokimazō ” which means “approved.” It was used to speak of gold  and when it is tested and the impurities removed you have pure gold, it has been tested and approved. So troubles, when we are being squeezed by pressure is to do what? Produces endurance and in turn produce and reveal character that has been tested and approved! Approved character! The term is used of metal that has been approved! Indeed in our sufferings, God uses to remove the impurities and develop us spiritually. We see as we respond His way in our trials that our faith is genuine and it produces joy in us also and as our faith is being developed we are growing in our faith, purity and dependence upon the LORD being weaned off self reliance to trust In God who raises the dead.-{2 Cor 1:8-9}

It is like what weight lifting is to the body, painful but purposeful- to develop muscles!

Troubles, suffering, pressures are building Godly character and knowing this we rejoice. Joyfully confident “in” our sufferings because of what we are “fully aware of” what God is doing in them! We are not ignorant but are informed having insight from His WORD!

There are times people may ask,”What do you think The LORD is TRYING to say to you?” As if somehow God is hiding His will and has placed us in a “Maze” to try and find our what He is doing and we have to find our way through the Maze and if we can find the exit then HE WILL LET Us KNOW… because we have guessed right! We do not have to guess because God is not playing ‘hide and seek” and seeing how far you will go before you get frustrated or give up. He has revealed it in His Word. And one of those things we can be assured of what He is doing is revealed in Romans 5:1-5! Know His Word, Know His Will and rejoice because you are ‘fully assured,” of what He has revealed in His WORD amidst your pain, sorrow, suffering!

There is purpose in suffering and one reason is what is produced from it, namely perseverance, and He does not want us ignorant but “knowing,” that suffering produces Character, Hope, Love knowing we have been gifted the Holy Spirit! God wants us to be a people who are continually “knowing”…”fully assured,” that what He is producing in our suffering. In this we can be a rejoicing people amidst the pain!

Suffering, tribulations, trials, pressures, have a definite gracious purpose in the Christian’s life and knowing this does not make the pain easier but in the pain because of what we know we can rejoice! Paul was not speaking about theory for he knew the reality of painful suffering, great pressures, he wrote regarding the “thorn” he had, which spoke of the end of a piece of wood sharpened, used for a peg of a tent but used to torture someone. His “thorn” was not a little sliver of wood under the skin but torturous and he said, “And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.“-{2 Cor 12:9-10}. The phrase “most gladly” “boasts, “exults” the same word because of what he knows… in his weakness the power of Christ is perfected in his weakness.

We can rejoice in our pressures because we know we have peace with God and we stand in Grace-the Divine Favor of God, fully accepted by Him. His Grace enables us to rejoice and because of what we know that “tribulations,..suffering,” produces. We are saved through His grace, we stand in grace and strengthened by Grace and because of the graciousness of GOD, that causes, produces a great joy in our pressures!

“Hope that does not disappoint.” The confident assurance that hope that is anchored in Him does not,will not, cannot disappoint!

WE ARE NOT IGNORANT BUT INFORMED THROUGH THE WORD OF GOD.

He uses His Word to “set us free” to know and as a result rejoice, exult in our tribulations because of what He ah revealed to us in His Word.

God wants us to have assurance of HIS LOVE for us  in our tribulations, as He has shed the Love of God abroad in our hearts by the power of the Holy Spirit.  How often deep, severe, painful tribulations, sufferings and the evil one injecting thoughts to doubt God’s love for us.

But trials, tribulations, great, consistent painful trials cannot separate us from the love of God. -” Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written, For Your sake we are being put to death all day longWe were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”  But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers,  nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.“-{Romans 8:35-39}

The Assurance of Peace with God, Access to God,Standing in Grace, Hope, purpose in our sufferings to spiritually develop us.  We are a knowing people who in our trials approach them with a different mindset, there is purpose in our sufferings…. that we may be spiritually developed to produce endurance,  strength of character, hope that does not disappoint, and assurance of the Love of God to us- and in these we can rejoice because of what He has revealed for us to know, “fully assured.” Rejoicing in Him who has revealed His Ways in His Word to us!

People think that Troubles at best are to be endured, get through them as best as you can until they pass, and then as if it were come up from air as though you have been submerged under water, but Paul says they are not merely to be endured, but to be GLORIED in and this because we know what God is doing. To Him we look and have reason to REJOICE in our troubles as we are His, our Future is bright, our future is Christ! And presently he is with us, working for us and in us… to bring about a good and Godly end!

“The things revealed belong to us and our children.”- {Deut 29:29}.

Pass it on why we can rejoice in our troubles based on HIS Word.