“And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”-{Romans 5:3-5}

Life can be so so hard at times. People suffer greatly and the emotional pain that can go along with it and followers of Christ are not exempt from suffering or great pressures, tribulations. The difference? For the follower of Christ, there is eternal significance, it is not useless or futile but potentially spiritually fruitful, and glorifying God!

Paul in Romans 5 where he is speaking of the eternal security of the believers, starts off and assures them that God has declared them justified, Approved by God, and as a result, they have peace with God, they are no longer under His wrath. It is not a truce but God is satisfied with His Son’s work and has granted them peace with Himself. This peace is not an emotion but a perfect standing they have with Him. God is no longer at war with them. They have access to God and stand in grace, the full favor of God, and as it was the smile of God upon their lives through the work of the LORD Jesus Christ. How wonderful their position and privileges are “in Christ.” And then Paul takes them back to earth as it were and speaks to them of the “tribulations” great pressures, suffering they face. How often when hard times come the evil one accuses to us that God is angry, mad with us, and is punishing us! Not so! God punished His Son for all of our sins. God is not angry with us for God loves us and is spiritually developing us as Romans 5:3-4 teaches.

Note, with regards to the “tribulations,” some translations translate it as “Suffering,” and means “great pressures,”  that they would face, they need to know God has a purpose in them, and we also need to know God has a purpose for us in them. What is it? In verse 3 He says, it is for our “perseverance, character, hope.” Have you ever been driving down the road and all of a sudden you see a man standing with a sign and he is directing traffic? One side of his sign says “STOP.” So you stop, and you may be in a line of cars all stopped one behind the other as on the other side of the road the traffic is moving. Eventually, the man turns the pole and the sign says “GO”  and so the traffic on your side of the road moves, and as you drive you pass men on diggers, digging up the road, some may be using jackhammers… and you see people working on the road and it looks so destructive but you know it is preparation for a new foundation and surface for the greater benefit for the public!

So too with suffering, tribulations, the great pressures you encounter, God is not callous or cruel but is able to lovingly developing you through these hard things you are going through.

The word, “Tribulation,” {Thlipsis} means, “pressure, used of a narrow place to hem someone in, tribulation especially to hem someone in, that someone feels confined, {restricted “without options,”}- “thlípsis (“compression, tribulation”) carries the challenge of coping with the internal pressure of a tribulation, especially when feeling there is “no way of escape” (“hemmed in”).”-{Helps Word- studies}.

Your suffering is not futile or in vain, but purposeful to continue to spiritually strengthen you to persevere and produce sterling character, integrity, and hope, that assurance, the confidence of future good. And the LORD assures them as He does us that when you are going through suffering, know you are loved by God for “the love of God has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been gifted to us.” -{Read Romans 5:5}.

Here are 7 Benefits of suffering for the follower of Christ;

1.God uses suffering to shape our character in the image of His Son.- {Rom 8:28-29}

2. Suffering tenderizes us to empathize with others-{Read 2 Cor 1:4};

3. Suffering affords us opportunities to witness-{Read 1 Peter 3:15}.

4. Suffering brings about Spiritual development– {Read Rom 5:3-4;1 Peter 5:10}

5. Suffering draws us closer to Him-{Phil 3:8,10}

6, Suffering is painful. Troubles are troublesome, Tribulations are tough, but from God’s perspective they are Profitable! -{John 15:5}

7. Suffering is never on our own- He is with us, He is in us that is why we never suffer alone. He goes through it with you when you suffer!  -{Rom 8:17}


Paul says “we know,” the word means to be “fully aware,” God did not want His people to be ignorant but informed when Paul shared with them concerning their tribulations, suffering, and so He wants us to be “fully aware” to know and not be ignorant and somehow be surprised to falsely believe the lie that God is mad at us or does not love us but assures us what He is doing in our tribulations, sufferings and wants us to be informed and remember when trials come our way that He is out to achieve something good and Godly in us…to produce PerseveranceCharacter- Hope! And here is what is wonderful, the phrase, “brings about,” {katergazomai}- is a verb and means to continually produce, achieve, to bring to an end, a conclusion. God has a goal and an end and is heading you towards that end. But note, that this is already in you, and He is bringing it out so you know it see it and others see you have power beyond yourself to persevere, character, hope. Think of a tube of toothpaste, when you squeeze it toothpaste comes out. What is in comes out.

God uses pressures, tribulations to bring out and develop what is in us, by His gracious Spirit! In tribulations, sufferings we find out something about ourselves and also Him! His Sufficiency, His enabling!

And Paul says the fact “we know” this truth we are to “EXULT,” some translations say, “rejoice or boast. ” It speaks of joyful confidence, not because of suffering or tribulations but because we know the effect these troubles in God’s hand brings about as we submit and trust Him! In your pain, it may be through tears, sorrow, deep sadness, but you can rejoice because of what you know about your tribulations, troubles, great pressures, suffering. You have INSIDE INFORMATION, you don’t have to guess or wonder what is God doing. Just as the man who had the “stop” and “go” sign was there to direct traffic and was a sign of “LABORERS AT WORK…” so even from your troubles  GOD IS AT WORK… and He works for GOOD in you. One dear friend said, “it may not feel good or look good but He promises it will ALL Work out for good” to those who love Him and are the called… and you love Him who first loved you…and He assures you He loves you through the Spirit of God who pours out His love into your heart.

Even when people or the evil one mean it for harm, as Joseph said, “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.”-{Genesis 50:20}. Joseph saw the evil, recognized it, called it out for what it was, but he also saw God was not absent but had a plan and this was a good plan and was to benefit…others! He had a Godly perspective. He came through to not being bitter but blessing others even those who were his enemies… his brothers! And God uses the suffering he had been through to produce character. He had been tested, trained to persevere, and he had hope, confidence that God was in the details to work good. He did not get there overnight, it was a process and he shows what God can do in a person. God is working in you and He is working all things you go through for good, for that is His promise and although the pain, suffering is unwanted you “know” can be “fully aware,” that God is up to something good, honoring in your life. The process can be painful, but you know the purpose – to bring about, perseverance- character- hope- in your life.

Pray and ask Him to help remind you so you have His Perspective in your pain and troubles. And as you  do you can Rejoice, Exult, Glory, be joyfully confident because you know, are fully aware of the OUTCOME which God is working to bring about in your tribulation, sufferings. And you too can share from Romans 5:3-4 with others of what God is desiring to do in their troubles, suffering, tribulations so they too can exult, because they “know” are “fully aware.” They can have confidence in Him and His Word because they are not ignorant but informed, from God Himself in His Word!

WHAT is God producing? “Perseverance- Proven character- Hope

HOW to Respond? -“KNOW…” and “EXULT,” Glory, joyfully confidently boast because of what you “know” God is doing!