Romans 5:3-4 3Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope.
Pushing through sufferings and trials is such a challenge in today’s current culture. Our “have it now”, comfort based society has produced in myself as well as many others a “run from the problem” or “take my toys and go home” mentality. We see a rough situation on the horizon and we either avoid the conflict, or run from the situation, or deny it exists. The problem is…we really never escape the trial and even do further damage, worse damage, by not pushing through the situation.
Not only in the above passage, but also in James 1:2-3 the promise is that we will gain perseverance through our trials and suffering. Furthermore, perseverance produces character, hope, maturity, and completeness. In both passages, the writers even say we are to rejoice in these trials and sufferings. Now, let me take a side note here. The writers do not say that we are joyful or enjoy the trials. We are to rejoice knowing that when we come out on the other side, we will gain strength and be better due to pushing through the trials and sufferings.
I love how Rick Warren explains in The Purpose Driven Life trials are placed in our path to strengthen us and allow us to rely on God. When we run from a trial, we are likely to face that same type of trial in new situations until we have pushed through or mastered that particular situation in our life. Essentially, when I run from a problem instead of facing it, that type of problem keeps showing up in my life until I have pushed through and mastered my life around the problem. I find that once I have done this, that same situation may come up again but, it does not have the same effect on me. I believe it is because I pushed through and gained the gifts of perseverance, character, hope, and maturity. Therefore, I do not look at that type of problem from the same perspective…or may not even see it as a problem for me at all.
So, what does running from problems/conflicts/situations do for us. First we do not gain the strength of perseverance. If we continue to avoid trails then we will not have perseverance. We need perseverance to make it through this life until Jesus returns and makes new what has been twisted and broken. Second, we do not grow and mature. If the gifts are character, maturity, hope, and completeness…then the opposite is true when we do not face the trials.
This is not to say the pushing through the trials and sufferings is a breeze. However, in my experience and in dealing with others who have similar experiences, the running from the trials produces much worse, long term results than the pain of pushing through. Something I might add here…when we push through is when God uses His power and showers on us His grace. So that when we are finished, the only one who can receive the glory is God. When I come out on the other end of my trials, I know that God was the one who sustained me. He transformed me through what I had to face.
Do not run…push through! 3Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope.
1. What trials or sufferings may you be facing now or see on the horizon?
2. What has been your pattern in the past when facing trials?
3. How has that worked for you?
4. What are some trials that you see you have matured from?
5. Spend some time this week reflecting on past trials and where God has brought you now. Ask Jesus to reveal to you how you can push through your current trial or your next trial.---------------------------------------
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