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Reason to Rejoice

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We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. Romans 5:3

As various points in your life, you’ll sit on the other side of the table from bad news. Sometimes, you’ll see it coming, but more often than not, it’ll ambush you, a single shot from a stun gun: downsizing, accident, cancer. Somehow, you press on, working through the immediate details as if from a distance, and it’s only later when you have a moment to breathe that the grief comes on. You wrestle with the whys and the what nexts, and begin to find out what you’re made of.

Like a cup that’s been filled to the brim with whatever you’ve poured into your heart over the course of your life, when a hard trial strikes, what’s inside spills over. If you’ve habitually sown to the flesh, bitterness gushes out, blended with hopelessness. All your self-sufficiency comes to nothing, and you let God know how He has disappointed you.

But if you’ve habitually sown to the Spirit, it’s different. Previous trials forced you to your knees, but that’s where you found God waiting to comfort and strengthen you. You know that Paul wasn’t just spouting some holy-sounding advice about tribulation, because you’ve seen the truth behind it: God uses trials to produce endurance, building character and producing hope. When hope spills over, you have reason to rejoice: God is with you.
 
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