Friday, November 30, 2012

Rejoice in Suffering?

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance,... — Romans 5:1-3, ESV

Did you see it? I didn't see it at first. In fact, I really haven't ever seen it until now. It is only three words long but it is so full of meaning. Here are those words:

“More than that.”

More than what? Paul just finished explaining how we as Christians are called and allowed to rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Hope. It is that which helps us to keep going on. It is that which helps us to be consistent and to stay faithful when everything seems like it's falling apart. And what is the hope that we have? The glory of God.That one day we will see and experience God and his glory.

Yet, Paul then shares those three little words. “More than that.” More than the hope of the glory of God, we as Christians rejoice in our sufferings. We celebrate in the difficult times because we know that God is doing its work in us. God, the eternal Almighty God of the universe, is personally invested in me, doing his work so that I might look more and more like Jesus every day. And for that I rejoice. And for that we are all called to rejoice. Oh how things would be different if I could truly live in the reality of this.

Please help me live in and see from your perspective that I might truly rejoice in the sufferings that I must go through. Help me to see them for what they truly are: a chance for you to intimately interact with me. Thank you.

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