And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance;Romans 5:3(NASB)
As members of the Body of Christ, we have been blessed with every spiritual blessing. Indeed, a thorough study of New Testament Scripture shows that there are hundreds of verses that remind us of who we are in Christ and what God has done for the born-again believer.
We are set apart unto God and we have become kings and priests. We are called to holiness, and we are accepted in the Beloved. We are not of this world but have become a citizen of heaven - and we are sealed by the Spirit of life, Who has set us free from the law of sin and death.
There is not one, specific passage, which lists all the advantages we have received through salvation, but throughout the New Testament, our privileges and position in Christ sparkle like glistening jewels which have been randomly scattered throughout the Word of truth - for all who will take time to study.
Romans chapter 5 however, is one passage that provides a foundational understanding of who we are in Christ. We have been given peace with God by our Lord Jesus Christ and are no longer estranged from Him through sin... for we have been redeemed with a price... the precious blood of Jesus Christ.
It is through faith in Him we have access to God's amazing grace which enables us to stand fast in this evil day... and causes us to rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Indeed, in Christ we are enabled to approach the throne of grace for mercy to find help in time of need.
In his enthusiasm to share the good news of the gospel of grace, Paul not only reminds us about justification by grace through faith and the hope that we have in Christ, but he adds, "and not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance."
Paul is not saying that the downside of the Christian life is the fact we must go through difficulties and dangers. He is not suggesting that we simply have to grin and bear the trials and tribulations we go through, as best we can. Paul clearly teaches that we should exalt in our tribulations and rejoice in our sufferings.
Rejoicing in suffering may not seem the normal reaction to trials and tribulations. However, Paul insists they should never be a cause for complaint. He is teaching that suffering for the sake of Christ, is a badge of honour for the saint of God.
We are not called to rejoice because we are suffering. We are to rejoice IN our suffering. We are to maintain an attitude of thanksgiving and praise in the midst of our suffering. We are to rejoice in the Lord, no matter what problems we may be called upon to face.
Paul then explains that tribulation brings about perseverance - while perseverance develops a proven character - and godly character brings about hope.
And our hope in the Lord will never, ever be disappointed because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by means of the indwelling Holy Spirit, Who was given to us the moment we trusted Christ for salvation.
Let us take to heart this exhortation to rejoice in our suffering, for as members of the Body of Christ, we have been blessed with every spiritual blessing - not only in this world, but in the ages to come - praise His holy name.
Heavenly Father, thank You for my salvation and the hope that I have in Christ. Give me a teachable spirit and a willingness to rejoice in the Lord, no matter what difficulties and I have to face. May my life be a testimony to Your goodness and grace. In Jesus' name I pray, AMEN.
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