Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, (ESV)
In the previous verse the Apostle Paul has talked about how we share in the glory of God. This is a direct result of our salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. It sounds wonderful to focus on the glory that will be revealed to us when we are face to face with our Savior. In the meantime we will face sufferings of various kinds. How should we respond to that?
Paul says that just as we are to rejoice in the glory that we will share with God we also should rejoice in our sufferings. Let's pause there for just a moment. How often have you rejoiced in your sufferings? In our current church culture there are many preachers preaching that the true Christian life should be lived without suffering. Clearly, they are ignoring Paul's instruction.
Paul is not just saying that sufferings happen and we need to tolerate them. Paul is saying that we should rejoice in them. He tells us why. Suffering produces endurance. Think about this for a moment. One of the reasons that people are so unstable in their faith is that they fight against suffering instead of embracing it.
I am told that a strong oak tree that is able to withstand many storms gains its strength by the many times when wind has come against it. From an early sapling to a full grown tree there are many times where the wind has blown against it. The result of the strong wind blowing against that tree is that it causes the tree to become strong enough to endure even bigger storms.
You will encounter storms in your life. The spiritual winds and attacks of the enemy are our suffering. Do not resist, but rejoice! The suffering will produce endurance in you.
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