Friday, November 11, 2011

Romans 5:3

Romans 5:3
Just as we need to build up our anticipation for the opportunity to witness God's glory in Heaven, we need to take our eyes off the cost of being a Christian to recognize the benefits for us here and now. It's not easy to rejoice in the midst of afflictions. (I'm absolutely terrible at it, to tell you the truth.) Yet the affliction becomes more bearable when we can look beyond it to the benefits we will receive because of it. We can endure a lot when we think the benefits are worth the cost: think of the men who have died in war or in protecting their families, the woman who had suffered and died in childbirth, the rescue personnel who have gone without sleep for days at a time. Each one looked beyond the cost to the benefits for both themselves and others and endured, and even rejoiced in their trial, because they saw the afflictions producing great benefits. This verse takes us on the first step in laying out the benefits that come to us out of our afflictions. If patience (/endurance/constancy) doesn't seem to be worth the effort, there is more to come. Look beyond the trials to see that:
affliction improves our patience
patience creates proven character
proven character increases our hope
and the thing we hope in is guaranteed. The end of our afflictions both here and now and in the future in Heaven are well worth the cost.

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