Paul, writing to the believers in Rome, states:
We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. ~ Romans 5:3-5 (NLT)
James says nearly the same thing when he writes:
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. ~ James 1:2-4
So, when facing difficult circumstances in life we can both rejoice and consider it pure joy. Uh…sorry, not me! Don’t misunderstand me. I’m not disagreeing with Paul or James, I’m just admitting that those two phrases don’t describe how I typically respond to the hard moments of life.
How can we learn to respond differently when facing the tough situations of life? By remembering that God has already met our biggest need – separation from God. Before Paul tells us that we can rejoice when we run into problems and trials he says…
By entering through faith into what God has always wanted to do for us—set us right with him, make us fit for him—we have it all together with God because of our Master Jesus. And that’s not all: We throw open our doors to God and discover at the same moment that he has already thrown open his door to us. We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand—out in the wide open spaces of God’s grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise. ~ Romans 5:1-2
If God’s grace can meet our biggest need, separation from Him, then we can face the hardships of life with hope; hope that enables us to rejoice and be joyful.
Lord, keep us mindful of grace that not only redeems us but sustains us, even in the worst of situations!