Why Rejoice In Suffering?

Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. [Rom. 5:3-5, NIV]

Not only so - We rejoice in the coming revelation of the Glory of God, but that is not the only thing we rejoice it.

but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces - I am far from understanding this.  I do not rejoice in sufferings.  I tend to complain and lapse into self-pity.  This is immaturity.  We should be able to rejoice in suffering - not because of the pain and hurt, but because we see that it is going to work something good in us.  God never allows anything to happen to us that He cannot take and turn into a benefit.  We rejoice while going through suffering because we trust God and know that we will be stronger, better people after we have gone through it.  Gold must be tried in the furnace otherwise it remains impure and low in value.

perseverance - The forgotten virtue.  It is easy to start on the Christian life and it is easy to give up.  Only one seed in four made it to the good ground.  Many start with high hopes, but troubles or even success come and they are driven from their course.  Perseverance is vital in the Christian life.  It tests the sincerity of our commitment to God.  It is needed to go through the tough times.  Without suffering we do not know if we have perseverance.  Suffering gives us the motivation to quit, perseverance keeps us from quitting.  We know that God is faithful.  He will not allow us to be tested beyond what we can handle.  The question is, will we handle it or will we give up?  The depth of the work of God is tested in suffering and those chosen by God will persevere.

perseverance, character - God is more interested in our character than our comfort.  Suffering produces perseverance as we refuse to give up in the face of persecution.  That, in turn, molds a character into us that is pleasing to God.  We become more Christ-like.  We stand in righteousness and justice.  We refused to be moved from God's path.  We begin to act more like Jesus, Whose character was perfect.  God wants us to be mature sons and daughters.  There is only one way to maturity - growth through the problems and challenges of life. 

and character, hope. - As our character matures, our hope grows and is strengthened.  We have greater and greater confidence in God and in the Word of God.  We can see through the problems of life and the attacks of the enemy with a firm expectation that the Word and promises of God will be fulfilled.  Circumstances no longer cause us to doubt God or what He has promised.  We live with a solid expectancy.

And hope does not disappoint us, - Since perseverance has built our character and given us a sure hope or confidence in the Word of God, we are not disappointed.  The Word of God cannot fail.  Our true hope cannot be foiled by anything or anyone.  We are secure in the hands of Jesus.  We can rest secure in the knowledge that He is in control, that He is working everything out, and that He cannot fail.  Our hope is secure.

because God has poured out His love - Why is our hope secure?  Because it depends on the love of God.  God so loved the world…  God is a God of love.  Love cannot be kept to oneself.  Love looks to bless and help others.  God, Who is love, pours out His love.  We have hope - confident expectation - in the Word of God because a God of love cannot break His word - that would not be a loving act.  Faith allows us to trust the Word of God, Biblical hope allows us to enjoy and anticipate the fulfillment of all that God has promised.  God did not just sprinkle His love.  He poured it out.  When you pour water out of a bowl it empties completely and quickly.  The love of God is overwhelming, soaking us to the bone, completely immersing us in His love.  We can walk through life in confidence regardless of the blows the world and satan send our way because of the love of God.  And because God is infinite, His love is infinite, and, although He pours His love out, He is never emptied. 

Also, we see it is the action of God.  It is God's choice.  It does not depend on us and on our actions.  God has chosen to pour out His love.  It is a God-Choice and no man can stop it.  No one can stop God's love from reaching you - not even you.  God is in control every step of the way.  It is His love.  God is not taking something that belongs to someone else and giving it away [like a good socialist].  He is pouring out of Himself, His very being.

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into our hearts - And where did this mighty outpouring of love go?  It went into out hearts, the very seat of who we are.  Out of the heart proceed the issues of life and into our hearts God pours His love.  In the beginning a bowl is full of air, when water is poured in it automatically pushes the air out.  When the love of God is poured into our hearts, it automatically pushes the old evil ways out.  It is not a struggle or a 'work' but a consequence.  This doesn't mean we don't fight against sin in our lives, but the most effective way to win is to allow ourselves to be immersed in the love of God.  When our heart is full of the love of God, we want to express love as God expresses love - by giving it away.  We no longer desire to do evil things [and when we do fall into sin we are quick to seek forgiveness].  We want to please God [Christians who don't love the Law of God are either ignorant or deceived] and help others.  We want to be like Jesus. 

by the Holy Spirit - The Father is in heaven.  Jesus has ascended to heaven.  It is now the work of the Holy Spirit to represent Jesus on the earth, to bring into practical application the victory of Jesus, to expand the Kingdom of God until it covers the earth as the waters cover the sea.  How does He accomplish this?  Through the people whom God has given Him.  God and satan each work though human representatives.  The Holy Spirit accomplishes the will of God on earth by working in the hearts of His people.  His love has been poured into our hearts so we can go out and accomplish the will of God in the power of the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit is the Person of God on earth today.  He is at work in and through people.  He does not force people to act against their will, but in His gentle way He leads and guides us.  If we will accept His leadership we will change our world and see the purposes of God accomplished.  If we grieve Him, by rebellion and selfish ways, we hinder the purposes of God and the lives of others are harmed.

Whom He has give us. - God gave us the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit could not come until Jesus had ascended.  He is the greatest gift of all.  God given to us.  God given to live inside of us.  God given to accomplish His will in us with our cooperation.  God in us to share His love to the world through us.  What an amazing thought.  That God would want to partner with us in accomplishing His will on the earth.  That God Himself would live right inside of us.

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