Monday, September 9, 2019

Rejoice in Sufferings

Romans .... so far:
Bad News!  All sinned are separated from God
Good News!  Reconciliation if available.
                            By grace (free to us)
                            Through faith
                            In Jesus Christ - John 14:6 - words of Christ Himself

Rom. 5:1-2 - therefore we have:
                       Peace - (with God)
                       Access - (to God)
                       Hope -  (of glory) - expectation of glory to come

So.... Rom. 5:2 - "we rejoice....."

Now ... Rom. 5:3 ... "..... in our sufferings"  ! ?

Question:  How can Paul claim this?
                 Why should we rejoice in sufferings?

Two reasons given here;

#1)  Suffering can be productive  (can achieve things in this life)

#2)  God will be with you  (in sufferings) - (we are never alone in our sufferings)

Rom. 5:3-11 - will examine these 2 reasons.

This week:  (#1)  Suffering can be productive - Rom. 5:3-5
Perseverance leads to Godly character leads to hope.

Compare:  James 1:2-4  (fall into does not mean leap into!!)  if you create your own fire, don't be surprised if you get burned.
                 1 Pet. 1:6-7  (proved = refine/shown to be pure)
                  Phil. 4:10-13  (where/how did Paul learn this?)

Observation:  Suffering has Potential / is not a given!!!
Luke 22:31-32   Satan's intent?  = destroy, discredit
                          God's intent?  improve - all the bad sifted out
                          deciding factor?  Peter's response!!  -
            Example:  Judas Iscariot - when sifted, turned out bad.
Paul writing to Christians here to whom this should always be true.

Observation:  Suffering does not Produce:  GOD PRODUCES!! - example:  the Cross
Suffering in and of itself is not bad, but what we do with it.
Gen. 50:19-20

In God's hands .. suffering has Potential to produce good:  (we weren't designed to suffer.  Suffering was part of the curse!!)
1) in me and for me!
example:  metal int he hands of master Blacksmith  Difference = metal is not actively resistant!!

2)  for others through me!
Example:  early Christian martyrs ... inspired people to believe ... therefore altered Eternity  (Shaped eternity)

Quote by Paul Billheimer - "Don't waste your sorrows" - are going to have plenty of them.  They can accomplish something.

(1)  This is not Rejoice because of your sufferings.
       It is Rejoice in the midst of suffering

(2)  Rom. 8:28 - does not mean you'll see the good (in this life) ...
                        - means He'll work for good in every situation

(3)  This knowledge/understanding won't relieve the pain  (dispel all doubts).
 It will give additional reason to:
     (a)  Endure the pain  Examples: Paul's thorn - God's answer - "my grace is sufficient" - Paul's response - "good enough for me"

     (b)  Expect God's involvement - Heb. 12:7, 11, 12

     (c)  Rejoice in the midst of sufferings
Example:  Paul says  "we know..."
Clarify ... "I Know" does not mean "I understand!!"
Rather means you've given a reason that is beyond my comprehension... AND I trust you --- to know what's good, to do what's good.

Job 13:15 (KJV) - "though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him."

Closing Scripture:  1 Pet. 5:8-11


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