Monday, June 16, 2014

Joy in the Midst of Trials

Romans 5:3-5
“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.”
Dear Lord,

Thank You for the sermon that our pastor preached on Romans 5:3-5 this past Sunday.  Though I haven’t been through any truly great tribulations of late, I have been thinking for awhile on the idea of how to act in their midst.  It seems to me that it is one thing to have peace in the midst of my trials, and quite another to be thankful for them, or to “exult” in them.  I am glad to have achieved peace in their midst, but I feel Your call to go beyond that and to be thankful for them.  

While I have attained Your peace in the midst of trials through the knowledge in my heart that You are both sovereign and good, it appears that I let my personal comfort get in the way of achieving thankfulness for trials.  If You are both sovereign and good, then certainly, I should be thanking You for everything.  Yet I hurt.  What I have not yet fully mastered (though I have had peeks!) is to shift my focus off of the personal pain.  I do not always see the pain as Your tool, but as a destructive force against me upon which I continue to focus until it seems greater than You.

Yet You are completely sovereign and completely good (Romans 8:28-29).  Thank You, Lord, that You love us so much, that we can have Your joy in the midst of trials.  Thank You that we can not only have peace, but be thankful for the very trial that hurts us, because You are the One in control, using that trial and pain to make us more like Your Son; to always give You glory; to enjoy You even in the midst of pain.

In Jesus’ Name, amen.

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