5 We have been made right with God because of our faith. Now we have peace with him because of our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Through faith in Jesus we have received God’s grace. In that grace we stand. We are full of joy because we expect to share in God’s glory. 3 And that’s not all. We are full of joy even when we suffer. We know that our suffering gives us the strength to go on. 4 The strength to go on produces character. Character produces hope. 5 And hope will never let us down. God has poured his love into our hearts. He did it through the Holy Spirit, whom he has given to us. 6 At just the right time Christ died for ungodly people. He died for us when we had no power of our own. 7 It is unusual for anyone to die for a godly person. Maybe someone would be willing to die for a good person. 8 But here is how God has shown his love for us. While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 The blood of Christ has made us right with God. So we are even more sure that Jesus will save us from God’s anger. 10 Once we were God’s enemies. But we have been brought back to him because his Son has died for us. Now that God has brought us back, we are even more secure. We know that we will be saved because Christ lives. 11 And that is not all. We are full of joy in God because of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of him, God has brought us back to himself.
Verse 3 is such a bold verse – declaring that we can rejoice when we run into troubles! I should never be surprised when trouble comes because God has clearly told me ” In this world you will have trouble” (John16:33) and yet somehow I still am. I think perhaps I have an unspoken sense of what “trouble” means and how much “trouble” I need to develop my endurance and strength of character. Any yet – despite this – more trouble still comes – catching me off guard.
Paul writes we can rejoice… because we know that trouble helps us.
I have to get my mind around the truth of this. God is using the “trouble” in my life – for my good. God is taking the difficult, the painful and the seemingly unbearable events in my life and shaping me. When I pray “Lord make me like you” – He is answering my prayer.
Oh God – help me to lift my eyes off my “trouble” so I can see you walking with me through everything. I want to be able to celebrate your goodness in the midst of what is going on.
Written by Ps. Linda Quinn