“And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” Romans 5:3-5
Throughout the school year our students are required to memorize different portions of Scripture. The past few weeks our children have been working to memorize Romans 5:1-8. As we have been studying this passage, verses three through five have really spoken to my heart.
Can we really “glory in tribulation”? It tells us in this verse that we can. How do we do this? First, let us look at the meaning of the word “glory”. It is used as a verb, which means it requires some sort of action. I believe that the word “glory” here means to exult with triumph; rejoice. We are being called to rejoice, even in tribulation.
One of my favorite examples of this is found in the Bible. It is the story of Paul and Silas in prison. Do you remember the story? You can read about it here: Acts 16. Basically, Paul and Silas find themselves in prison for casting a demon out of a young woman. It made the masters of this woman angry and they had the men thrown into jail.
Now, here is where the “glory in tribulation” comes into play. Around midnight, Paul and Silas are sitting in jail. Do you know what they were doing? Let us look at verse 25: “And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.” Imagine that. These two men are sitting in the jail at midnight. They are not crying and complaining. Thy are not fussing with each other. They are singing and praising God! These two men have learned to “glory in tribulation.”
How do we glory in tribulation? Just as Paul and Silas did. When we find ourselves in a rough spot, we need to keep praising God. Remember the word “glory” here is a verb. It means it is something we are to do. This means we have a choice to make. Do we rejoice and praise God even in our struggles or do we sit down and complain and cry about how unfair life is? The Bible tells us to glory in tribulation. It is our choice.
So, we have talked about how to glory in tribulation. Let us look at the rest of the verse and see why we are to do this. The second part of this verse reads: “knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope.” Here is the answer. We can glory in tribulation because we know that through it we are going to learn something.
Each time we go through a trial God is teaching us patience. Along with learning patience we are also gaining some experience and knowledge. True knowledge does not come from a text-book, it comes from experience and through the trials of life. As we go through these trials and gain this knowledge we develop hope.
Why could Paul and Silas sing and praise God while sitting in jail? Because they had been through tribulation before and they had learned patience. They had gained some knowledge and they had hope that God was going to take care of them no matter what they were going through.
You see, when we learn to glory in tribulation, we defeat satan’s plan. He wants nothing more that to see you go through rough times, beat down and defeated. When he sees us praising God and dancing in the rain it takes away the only power he has. Remember, satan has no power over you. He will try to magnify your problems and get you to doubt God’s love for you. He is the father of all lies. It is up to us keep the faith, to glory in tribulation.
My prayer for us this morning is simple. I pray today that we will learn to glory in tribulation, knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope. Praise God while you are in your storm. Remember that He loves you and He has great plans for you.