Suffering Produces Endurance

Romans 5:1-2 ESV

“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.”

We are made righteous in God’s sight by God-given faith in Jesus Christ. And since this faith comes from God, and is gifted to us by God, and it is authored and perfected by Jesus Christ, and this faith is divine persuasion as to God’s righteousness and holiness, and of our sinfulness, then this faith will submit to Jesus as Lord and to his divine will and purpose for our lives.

For, when we believe in Jesus Christ we are crucified with Christ in death to sin so that we might live to God and to his righteousness. Our old self was put to death with Christ on that cross so that we would no longer live under the control of sin or in slavery to sin, but that now we would be slaves of God and to his righteousness (Rom 6:1-23; 1 Pet 2:24; Lu 9:23-26).

But justification (being made righteous) is not a one-time deal which takes place in our lives. We who are living righteously are those who are righteous in God’s sight. For our faith in Jesus Christ is not a one-time experience in our lives. We must be believing (present tense) in Jesus, and that belief is evidenced by our dying daily to sin and walking in obedience to our Lord.

And God’s grace to us is not just forgiveness of sins and eternal life with God, but his grace delivers us from our slavery to sin, and it trains us to say “No!” to ungodliness and fleshly lusts and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives while we wait for our Lord’s soon return. For, Jesus gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works (Tit 2:11-14).

And we are to take our stand in this grace which not only frees us from our bondage to sin, and not only instructs us in righteous and holy living, but which also empowers us to live for God and to his righteousness. His grace is what gives us the strength and power to daily say “No!” to sin and to the flesh, and “Yes!” to God and to his holy commands for righteous living.

[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10, 19-20; 2 Co 5:10, 15; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Rom 12:1-8; 1 Co 12:1-31; Eph 4:1-16; Jn 6:44; Eph 2:8-10; Heb 12:1-2]

Romans 5:3-5 ESV

“Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”

Not only is our faith in Jesus Christ about us dying with Christ to sin and living to him and to his righteousness, and leaving our sinful practices behind us to follow our Lord Jesus in obedience to his commands, but our walks of faith in Jesus also involve suffering in many different ways.

We suffer in ways in which all humans suffer in the way of trials, tribulations, heartaches, disasters, death of loved ones, sickness, pain, betrayal, rejection, loneliness, financial setbacks, and/or job loss, etc. But we also suffer persecution and rejection because of our walks of faith and because of our sharing of the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

But we are to rejoice in our sufferings. But this word translated as “rejoice” literally means to live with God-given confidence in our sufferings. It is to understand the sovereignty of God over our lives and to believe that he is in control over all things, and that he is working all things together for the good of us who are loving (obeying) him (Rom 8:28).

It is accepting that God has a divine purpose for everything he allows or that he brings into our lives. I know that when the Lord takes me through times of suffering, which I have been going through on multiple levels, that there is something I am to learn through it, and that I am to grow in my walk of faith through it, and that I am to mature in my relationship with Jesus.

I think the main thing for me this time around is to keep reminding myself that God is fully sovereign over my life and that he is in control over all things, that he has all things under His command, and that he is working all things for good in my life, no matter how bad they are or how difficult they may be to endure. God is good all the time!

So, when we are going through times of suffering, we must keep the right perspective in mind always. We must remember that in all these things that we are going through that God is using them in our lives in order to produce in us endurance, character, and hope. And this is God pouring out his love into our hearts through the Holy Spirit.

Suffering is hard. It is painful. It can bring tears to our eyes and/or produce cries of pain which then lead us to call on God for mercy and for wisdom and for strength to endure the suffering. In the suffering we may have times when we question if we will survive it all, or if we will have the strength to endure, but when we call on God, he provides all that we need.

Praise You in This Storm

Mark Hall and Bernie Herms

I was sure by now, God You would have reached down
and wiped our tears away,
stepped in and saved the day.
But once again, I say amen
and it’s still raining
as the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain,
“I’m with you”
and as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise
the God who gives and takes away.

And I’ll praise you in this storm
and I will lift my hands
for You are who You are
no matter where I am
and every tear I’ve cried
You hold in your hand
You never left my side
and though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm …

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