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Everyday Peacemaker

Peacemaker Ministries Devotional "Rejoice in Suffering"

by P. Brian Noble / August 12, 2019

Scripture

Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. (Romans 5:3–5, ESV)

Thoughts

“Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings…” What? First let’s go back one verse where Paul says, “Through [Jesus] we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God” (Romans 5:2, ESV). We have obtained access to the Heavenly Father by faith into his grace. Now think about the words “by faith into…grace.” Faith in Jesus leads us into the grace of God. That is amazing. In my home, the front door leads into the entryway. Our spiritual door is faith in Jesus. Faith is how we step through the door and stand in the place that is grace. So rejoice! You are standing in God’s grace.

Then after verse 2, Paul says, “Not only that, but [a contrasting term] we rejoice in our sufferings.” Stop the music! Hold the bus! Slow down, pilgrim, you say. You understand that we can rejoice as we stand in God’s grace. You see that we can rejoice in the hope of God’s glory, but rejoicing in suffering? You’re not so sure. What kind of suffering?

Paul isn’t talking about suffering, is he? The Greek word for “suffering” here is thlipesos: to crush, press, compress, squeeze. So this verse literally says that we rejoice in being crushed, pressed, compressed, and squeezed. Do we really rejoice in this? Why?

Blog: I can do All Things

I’m glad you asked.

Paul says that “suffering produces endurance.” Is that supposed to be good? Suffering doesn’t produce deliverance but endurance. So, I am going to go through this suffering for a while. And “endurance produces character.” Okay, I see what he is saying now.

And “character produces hope.” So what you’re telling me is that my suffering eventually produces hope. Hope of what? Suffering produces the hope that we will get to stand in the glory of God.

We will never be ashamed if we hope because God has poured his love into us through the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit.

Application

Think about the suffering you are experiencing. Is it the result of a choice you made? Is it from a relationship? Is it from the fallenness of this world? Whatever its source, how can you allow the suffering to work in you to produce character and hope? Today’s suffering can produce an eagerness to experience God’s glory.

Prayer

Lord, help me to look at my current suffering with joy. Not because suffering is joyful but because I know you have poured your love into my heart and I know that one-day I will be in your presence…. (Continue praying.)

P. Brian Noble

Tags: Peacemaker Wisdom

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P. Brian Noble

P. Brian Noble

P. Brian Noble is an everyday guy who loves Jesus. He has been married to his best friend, Tanya, for 20 years and they have four children; they currently reside in eastern Washington. Brian has a Master of Arts in missional leadership from Northwest University. He is the Executive Director/CEO of Peacemaker Ministries. An ordained minister for the past 20+ years (3 years as a Youth Pastor, 14 years as a Senior Pastor, and 4 years as an Executive Pastor), he proclaims hope through the gospel message as the Holy Spirit empowers believers in their daily walk. He believes in the power of the Word of God to transform lives. He has been a Certified Christian Conciliator since 2008, with 1000+ hours of conflict coaching and mediation experience. His caseload has ranged from husband and wife cases, to family farm, to public schools, and even county government. Brian has taught peacemaking in local jails and even internationally in Uganda. His hope is that every Christian reconciles their differences in a way that glorifies God. His hope is that every Christian recognizes they are a Peacemaker before they try to do peacemaking. Finally, his hope is that every Christian reconciles by making authentic peace that blends justice, mercy, and humility.