Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. Romans 5:3-4
We boast in the hope in the glory of God. Not only so! BUT!
We also glory in our sufferings. What?!
James chapter one says something similar, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.” (James 1:2-3).
I work at a dental school and about a month ago I took a new position as supervisor, which comes with both blessings and tribulation. Yesterday, I had to tell my co-worker that she could not read the Bible at work, or have her Bible visible for others to see. As much as I love the Bible, it was hard for me to do. I felt like I was the one persecuting my sister in the Lord. But I had the heat put on me by HR, so I needed to do my job.
The Bible said we are blessed when others persecute us for the name of Christ, because the glory of God rests on us.
But rejoicing is usually not the norm when we endure suffering of any kind. If you are like me, you grit your teeth, hunker down and bare it. Sometimes complaining becomes our response. Grumbling about trials is far more common than boasting in them. Other times, self-pity or the victim mentality sets in. There are few of us, however, that actually do rejoice in spite of our trials.
Ultimately we are not promised a trouble free life. Paul tells us that God will bring trials in our lives because He has a purpose. He grows us through our trials. Through our sufferings, we grow in endurance, proven character, and hope. The hope we have inside of us will not disappoint.
How can this verse prepare me to expand His kingdom?
I need to develop God’s perspective in order to really rejoice in my trials. It is not an automatic response. It requires deliberate focus.
In Philippians 2:14-15, Paul exhorts us to follow the example he set when he was falsely accused, beaten, and wrongly imprisoned in Philippi:
“Do all things without grumbling or disputing; so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world.”
Deliberate focus on my response to rejoice in the minor irritations at work to the major trials in my personal life, will cause me to shine like lights in the darkness. This response will expand His kingdom.
What do these verses speak to you? How will these verses help you to expand His Kingdom?
In case you missed what this is all about, visit the introduction. Click this link 180-days 2018 to print out the 2018 calendar that I created for this strategic plan to expand His kingdom. And don’t forget to subscribe to this blog so you don’t miss any days.