“We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. 4 And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. 5 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)
“There’s more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, 4 and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. 5 In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary — we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!” (Romans 5:3-5, The Message)
“For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.” (James 1:3, NLT)
Another important key in this year as you look back to struggles you’ve had in the past as well as those you may face down the road, is to know what is being developed within you. I do not believe that God puts things on us but the facts are that we will face struggles in this life and what I do believe is that God will take any struggle and use it to develop things within you. You may be wondering, “Why is he writing about struggles?” I’m writing these not as a negative thing but I’m writing these so that we can all learn how to turn struggles into triumphant victories and take the positive experiences out of them. I believe that as we enter 2016, in order to take action, we must be able to look at past struggles and know what was developed so that we can pull from those things. We must also know how to handle struggles, in a more positive way, that may come our way as we determine to take action.
Verse 3 of Romans 5 tells us that we can rejoice when we run into struggles because they will develop endurance, endurance character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. That sounds easy but if you’ve gone through some things you know that rejoicing is very difficult and quite frankly, the last thing on our minds usually. I like The Message version of that verse, “There’s more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles…” This is what the rejoicing is talking about, not necessarily rejoicing because we are having struggles but choosing to rejoice despite the struggle.
Continuing to shout your praise regardless of what you’re going through is part of the battle plan against the enemy. Walls crumble when you shout praise and the enemy knows it. Endurance, character, and hope are some of the things that develop within us when we face struggles in this life. The quicker we learn what’s being developed and the more we continue to rejoice, regardless of the struggle, the stronger we become and the more defeated the enemy becomes.
Choose today to identify what’s being developed in your life and refuse to stop rejoicing!