Rejoicing in our afflictions, seems like a complete paradox. In fact, it appears to be pretty much impossible. How is it even possible to have joy during trying times?
What is there to rejoice about trials? The Apostle Paul in Romans 5:3-5, wants us to know that there is purpose in our hardships. He wants us to understand that affliction is a means to an end. In light of the great pain a woman endures during child birth, deep in her heart, there is joy at the thought of the arrival of her baby.
Child birth produces children. Likewise, affliction produces growth in the followers of Christ! We grow through what we go through. When the silversmith melts silver, he increases the heat of the fire, in order for the dross to surface. He removes the impurities from the silver until he can see his face clearly reflect from the silver. In a similar way,
God uses the fiery ordeals we experience, to shape our characters and remove impurities from us. We rejoice in our afflictions because they are a means to make us look more and more like Jesus, as we reflect Him in our characters and way of life.
Paul makes it clear, that the Children of God does not only, “…rejoice in the hope of the glory of God…but we also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, endurance proven character, proven character hope.
This hope does not disappoint… (Romans 5:2-5)” While afflictions can be extremely difficult and unpleasant, we rejoice in what it produces in our walk with Christ! In the words of C.H. Spurgeon, “The Lord gets his best soldiers out of the highlands of affliction.”
Pastor Euginio (Gino) Nel
The Bowker Street Baptist Church