And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; ~Romans 5:3
The word tribulation refers to pressure and trouble. It has the idea of very heavy weights being placed on the chest of someone who is lying down. The extreme of tribulations is what Paul called being pressed out of measure, above strength, and despairing of life. Our human nature is averse to pressures and trouble. However, without tribulation and pressure, we will not experience the grace of God in us or become what God wants us to be in character and in spirit. Paul said, “We glory in tribulations.”
We see the fact.
Tribulations are the afflictions, the difficulties, the storms, the troubles, and the vexations that God allows into our life. Tribulation is David hiding in the cave of Adullam out of fear for his life. Tribulation is three Hebrew young men being cast into a burning furnace for not bowing to the image of the king. Tribulation is Paul as a passenger on a ship on the stormy Mediterranean Sea where, after many days, all hope of being saved out of the storm was lost. They are definite, diverse, and distressful. Everyone will experience tribulations.
We see the fire.
Tribulations are the fiery trials of our faith. They are the furnace of affliction that tests what we really are on the inside. They are the fining pot that God uses to burn away the dross of sin out of our life. “The fining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold: but the LORD trieth the hearts” (Proverbs 17:3). In tribulations, we can feel the heat. In tribulations, we make decisions on what is important and not important. It is during a tribulation that our eyes are upon the Lord, for we know not what to do. In tribulations, we pray more earnestly and frequently.
We see the fruit.
Tribulations are God’s gifts to us for building our character, faith, and virtue. First, tribulation worketh patience in us. There are no prescribed timelines as to how difficult and how long a tribulation is in our life. Paul said that they work patience. We have to wait on God. We have to pray for longer seasons. We have to let the process unfold. It works patience. Patience is not developed overnight. It is developed over a long period of time and with much trusting. Second, patience worketh experience. Experience teaches us wisdom. Experience helps us to learn God’s Word. “It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes” (Psalm 119:71). Through experience, we are able to comfort others who are going through a similar pressure or trial. Third, experience worketh hope. Our utter dependence is on God for whatever He desires the outcome to be.
We see the fulfillment.
“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.” God uses the tribulation to purify us. The fulfillment in the process is God’s love abundantly overflowing in our hearts. God loves us, and He only allows trouble that will be for our benefit. All tribulations are “Father-filtered.” We love God more because of a tribulation, but we also allow Him to love us more because we must depend upon Him for strength and help. So, Paul said, “We glory in tribulations.” Suffering results in satisfaction. Hurt leads to humility and happiness. Tribulations result in triumph. The cross leads to a crown. Crisis results in character. Let tribulation do its perfect work, and thank the Lord for trusting you with it.
Have a hope-filled God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Leviticus 16-18