Romans 5: 3 And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; 4 and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; 5 and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
As we read these verses, it is easy to get wrapped up in the list: tribulation, perseverance, proven character, and hope. However, I want to think about the first few words, “we also exult in our tribulations.” Did you catch why Paul exults in tribulations? It isn’t because they will be brief or easy. It isn’t because he can see an immediate blessing from them. So, why does he exult? He exults because of God’s promise. Paul believes God’s promise because of what God has done in Christ. He believes God’s promise because of God’s power. He believes God’s promise because of God’s love.
The point is – Paul believes God and it makes him do something. In this example, Paul believes God’s promise of salvation and so he knows that God is doing something great through his struggles. He doesn’t know because he can see it right now. He knows because God has promised it. God’s promise makes Paul live differently.
How about us? Do we respond to God’s promises the same way? Do they change our perceptions? Do they change our attitudes? Do they change what we are going to do in our everyday lives? If not, what does that say about our belief? Let me give you a physical example… If you believe you are going on a trip, don’t you pack? Of course we do! We do it, not because the car is going down the street. (it would be too late by then!) We do it because we believe it is going to happen. Do you do the same with God’s promises? That is the crucial point of faith, isn’t it? So, let’s do something in response to God’s promises. Let’s believe!
Something to think about,