(NOTE: This sermon series and devotional series is based on a book by Randy Frazee entitled, “BELIEVE.”
You may choose to download or purchase the book as a supplement to your worship and devotional emails.)
Let’s play a little word association.
I say, “Suffering.” You say….
I say, “Trials.” You say…
I don’t bet much, but I think I would be safe to say that “Joy” or “Rejoicing” was not your first response.
Suffering and rejoicing seemingly stand opposed to each other.
Trials and pure joy seem as the opposite ends of a very wide spectrum.
But not when we have a Spirit-given perspective.
The Apostle Paul says in Romans 5:2-4, “Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope.
Or James says in 1:2, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.”
Unless we see the perspective God wants us to have as we go through trials and sufferings.
If we get caught with the wrong perspective, we will miss the blessing God is developing. Suffering leads to hope…with perseverance and character in between. Trials lead to perseverance of our faith.
These are blessings that cause rejoicing and are pure joy.
Rejoicing because God is working. Pure joy because our faith is being strengthened.
When joy moves me beyond the immediate difficulty of the trial or suffering, I begin to see the eternal perspective God is working in me.
No doubt suffering and trials are hard, but the blessing they bring causes rejoicing.
Apply: Maybe today you are in a period of trial or suffering. What is it? What are the possible blessings God is working in you and through you in this period? Are they reasons for rejoicing?
PRAYER: Lord, thank you for the sufferings and trials in my life. Lead me to rejoice not because the suffering is easy, but because the blessing you are working is great. AMEN.