Rejoice in our Sufferings!?

~~Originally posted Oct 2008~~

“Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” (Romans 5:3-4)
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Isn’t this scripture just………….well, I think that only you can finish that sentence. This scripture is so profound but do most people realize that, the first time or the first 50 times they read it. When everything is going just right in our lives we can read this, give it a little “amen” and move right on BUT until we are actually suffering I’m not sure we really “get it”. I am really only speaking to myself because I can’t speak for you. I haven’t walked your “walk” or suffered your sufferings. I have read this scripture and heard it spoken many times, did I say many because that is what I meant. Many times my physical eyes have rested on this scripture but I have to ask myself did I really see it? I don’t think I did. I am beginning to believe that when you look at it through suffering eyes you really begin to see the truth of it or should I say that you begin to get an inkling of the truth of it. What I have always desired to do is trust that God’s ways, His thoughts and His plans are always best!! No matter if He orchestrated something in my life or He is just allowing it, I have to keep trusting HIM. In this scripture it says rejoice “in” our sufferings, it doesn’t say rejoice at the sufferings but rejoice in them.
It may not sound to you to be different but I do see it differently actually I see it to be profoundly different. I do not believe that God is actually telling us to rejoice because we get sick, or we lose someone we love, or we have financial problems, or we lose our job, or we are having difficulty with a child and so on and so on. I do believe He is telling us to rejoice “IN HIM” while we are suffering. Rejoice because we know HE never leaves us or forsakes us, He will see us through and out of our suffering and that the end result will be Perseverance……. Character……….hope……..an everlasting Hope!! Trusting Him, rejoicing in HIM, holding on to Him through the good and through the bad and even through the ugly is a choice. It is MY choice and I don’t know about you but I’m going to choose HIM every time and I encourage you to choose HIM too!! If you are suffering right now begin to rejoice not at the situation but rejoice in the one who HOLDS you, cares for you, will make a way for you and who loves you with an amazing love!!! You’ll always be better off when you choose HIM!!! I have always said I would rather suffer with Him than suffer without HIM!! Just knowing HIM is truly enough of a reason for us to rejoice!! I pray that you know that God is holding you tight during all the good times of your life and even during the suffering times of your life!!
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The Lord God is my Strength, my personal bravery, and my invincible army; He makes my feet like hinds’ feet and will make me to walk [not to stand still in terror, but to walk] and make [spiritual] progress upon my high places [of trouble, suffering, or responsibility]! For the Chief Musician; with my stringed instruments. Habakkuk 3:19
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