Rejoicing in Suffering
A little reminder for the day:
“ And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope:” Romans 5:3-4
"At first we would say that a home into which no sorrow had ever come, is the happiest home. It has had only prosperity. It is a Christian home, too, and has all the blessings of true religion. It is a home of love, ideal in its fellowship. But it has never known a sorrow. The circle is unbroken. No tears have been shed in it. We would say that this is the happiest home we know.
But it takes sorrow to perfect 'love's happiness'. There is little doubt that the sweetest home, is one in which there has been grief. We do not find the richest things in the Bible, until we pass into shadows. We do not see the stars, until night comes. There is no rainbow, except when there are clouds. We do not find out the richest love, even of our human friends, while we are strong and well and prosperous; it is only when we are in some grief or trouble, that we discover how much they love us. And we do not get the best of God's grace—until we are in sorrow.
Besides, grief softens our hearts, makes us capable of deeper affection and sympathy, and draws us nearer to each other. After a household has stood together around the coffin of one of its own—it is a new tenderness that unites the members. Suffering together, brings a new closeness in loving. Thus, even sorrow may be put among the elements of home happiness."
- (JR Miller - Miller's Year Book)
Suffering is one thing that all Christians experience but the blessing of it all is that as a believer we have the Holy Spirit that gives us the ability to rejoice in the midst of suffering. Others may not understand this especially the non-believers but the way we, believers weather the hard times in our lives can become a wonderful testimony to others.
There is pain, that one cannot be denied, we can be honest about it but it is still possible to experience genuine rejoicing. We can have peace and joy in spite of our circumstances. As for me when I am going through one of these experiences, I reflect on it, I try by God’s grace to listen to the truths and see the lesson that He want to teach me. Suffering is a good thing because they produce a fruit of righteousness in my life. God is using life’s difficulties to build my character. As the verse say: it produces patience which in turn strengthens my character, deepen my trust in God and give me confidence about the future: that is hope =) Sufferings should draw us closer to God.
Help me Lord, to rejoice in sufferings knowing that you are working something in my life. Help me not to panic but have a steady and stronger faith in You.