Lessons on Longsuffering – Part 1
Finding Joy in Suffering (Romans 5:3-5)
Romans 5:3-5, And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
ABC's of Trials
Although things are not perfect
Because of trial or pain,
Continue in thanksgiving
Do not begin to blame.
Even when the times are hard,
Fierce winds are bound to blow;
God is forever able--
Hold on to what you know
Imagine life without His love;
Joy would cease to be.
Keep thanking Him for all the things
Love imparts to thee.
Move out of "Camp Complaining"--
No weapon that is known
On earth can yield the power
Praise can do alone.
Quit looking at the future,
Redeem the time at hand.
Start every day with worship;
To "thank" is a command.
Until we see Him coming,
Victorious in the sky,
We'll run the race with gratitude,
Exalting God most high.
Yes, there'll be good times; and, yes, some will be bad, but...
Zion waits in glory...where none are ever sad!—Unknown
We are given insight as to the work of troubles and trials. Most people groan in tribulation, but the perspective that comes from salvation changes one's view of life's experiences to the extent that trials bring rejoicing more than complaining.
The idea is because we are now at peace with God, having access to His grace and having standing before Him, we also glory in tribulations. Because of the riches of His grace in saving us, we not only can endure troubles, we can rejoice in them because of our standing in Christ.
The Bible teaches that God wants to work a character quality in your heart known as patience. Patience has the sense of ‘endurance’ or ‘perseverance.’ Trouble and persecution, especially for Christ’s sake, produce the added benefit of determination to continue. What are some reactions when troubles come? How do you respond? One of the greatest marks of your faith and your confidence in the Almighty is your endurance, your perseverance when trouble comes.
This is a guarantee that not only are we saved now, but we will still be saved when we stand before God. As a believer I can have full assurance of salvation. What a promise!
The love of God changes everything! God's love was shed abroad in our hearts at the time of our salvation. Our hope is backed up by the love of God. This is where it all started (John 3:16). If it were not for the sacrificial love of God there would be no hope of salvation. God’s love is an amazing love that is never depleted! Our hope is a sure thing because it is grounded upon the love of God.
Are you experiencing a major setback in your life? Has a health problem sidelined you? Is some obstacle keeping you from reaching your fullest potential? Don’t give up. God can use your hardships to accomplish in you what no one else could ever do. His plan has not been hindered by your limitations — rather, if you trust Him, it may be heightened by them. With His help you can thrive.
PRAYER: Lord, 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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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship with Christ.