Romans 5:3-5 - Turning Trials Into Testimonies.

Romans 5:3-5: Turning Trials Into Testimonies.

Romans 5:3-5 (NLT) We can rejoice, too, when we run into 
problems and trials, for we know that they are good for us - they help us 
learn to endure. 4 And endurance develops strength of character in us, 
and character strengthens our confident expectation of salvation. 5 
And this expectation will not disappoint us. For we know how dearly 
God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our 
hearts with his love. 

The word character (dokime) includes the idea of "approved as a 
result of testing." A person with this kind of character is known for 
his or her inward qualities rather than any outward appearances. 
There is a progression that begins with suffering and ends with 
character. Suffering is like the pressure put on carbon to produce a 
diamond. As we persevere, we are being formed and molded on the inside - 
God is producing his character within us. The end result of this 
chain reaction is hope - confidence that God is in control and will 
see us through. God's work in us now, conforming us "to the likeness 
of his Son" (8:29), gives us a glimpse of the wonderful things he 
has in store for us in the future. If we can maintain our love for 
Christ and see his work through all our difficulties, the result is 
increased faith, hope, and love. The difficulties of life are not random, 
meaningless, or wasted when we are trusting God. Our hope needs to grow and 
develop with the rest of our spiritual being. Rejoicing during suffering 
will increase our endurance and strengthen our overall character, 
leading to a more mature hope. (See also Eph 4:2-5; Col 1:4-5.) (Life 
Application Commentary) 

   It's okay. You can allow yourself to hope. Not many people 
believe that. Or perhaps it would be more accurate to suggest that not 
many people believe they can hope for anything other than their 
ultimate salvation in Christ. But our hope in God is far more 
comprehensive than "someday in heaven." He has given us everything pertaining 
to life and godliness and access to His "great and precious 
promises" (2 Peter 1:3-4). Like David, we can be confident that we will 
see God's goodness in the land of the living (Psalm 27:13). He fills 
our lives not only with big-picture hope, but also day-to-day hopes. 
He is the giver of every good gift.  
   Many people who listen for God's voice are predisposed to 
hearing His restrictions, limitations, and corrections. They may expect 
His encouragement to maintain hope for eternity but not for current 
situations. Yet God is far more willing to encourage us about today's 
circumstances than we think He is. He has solutions we haven't yet discovered, 
promises we haven't yet embraced, and outcomes we haven't yet envisioned. 
He is the hidden variable in every situation, the trump card yet to 
be played, the beautiful and satisfying end of the story that looks 
impossible in the midst of the tortuous, taxing plot. When God is in the 
mix, no situation is hopeless.  
   Don't expect disappointment. Don't assume, as so many do, 
that God will remain distant and not come through in the clutch. 
Allow your heart to embrace the hope of the whole gospel - not just 
the Good News of salvation, which is certainly true, but also the 
good news of His Kingdom, which is coming even now. When God speaks, 
He is far more interested in filling your heart with expectancy 
than subduing you with limitations. Embrace the hope that does not 
   Lord, my heart seems so biased toward low expectations. My 
instinct is to protect myself from disappointment. But Your Kingdom is 
different; You incline our hearts toward hope. Give me the courage to 
embrace hope without fear of disappointment. Let me see Your goodness in 
the land of the living. [The One Year Hearing His Voice Devotional 
by Chris Tiegreen]  

   You can rejoice in your sufferings, because you know that 
suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, 
hope. Problems that cause you pain can ultimately increase your hope. 
However, this doesn't happen automatically. You have to cooperate with My 
Spirit as He guides you through times of suffering.  
   Perseverance is a rare commodity in this day and age. Most 
people look for and long for a quick fix. But lingering adversity - 
accepted with trust and confidence in Me - develops Christ-like 
character. This prepares you for an eternity of problem-free living with 
Me. Your changed character will bless you and others in this world 
also, because I crafted you in My own image - to be like Me.  
   The more you become like Me, the more you can experience 
hope. Your transformed character convinces you that you do indeed 
belong to Me. This helps you cope with the problems you face, trusting 
that you and I together can handle them. And the wondrous hope of 
heaven shines on you daily, strengthening and encouraging you. (Rom. 
5:3-5; John 14:15-17; Phi. 4:13) [Jesus Today by Sarah Young] 


   I want to share with you the lessons taught me by a radiant 
Christian woman on how to overcome frustration. In case of doubt, let me 
make clear that the woman concerned was not a thick-skinned 
individual who cared for nothing and nobody, but rather a highly sensitive 
person who knew how to TURN EVERY TEST INTO A TESTIMONY.  
   Here is her prescription for overcoming frustration. 
   First, realize that Christians aren't exempt from facing 
problems. It is true that Christians are exempted from many self-inflicted 
pains which non-Christians bring on themselves through wrong 
attitudes, wrong moral choices, wrong behavior, and so on. But apart from 
this, every Christian is as subject as a non-Christian to accidents, 
sickness, and even death. Some years ago a plane full of non-Christian 
Indian seamen crashed into the Alps; a few days later, fifty-eight 
Christians, fresh from a conference, crashed in the same Alps.  
   Secondly, fix in your mind that the Christian answer is along 
the line of using whatever comes - justice or injustice, pain or 
pleasure, compliment or criticism. Ever heard of a lyre pine? The lyre 
pine is a pine tree whose top is shaped like a harp, with a number of 
branches forming the top, instead of one straight branch. It is produced, 
they say, by a calamity such as a storm or a lightning flash striking 
off the original top. Frustrated, it then puts up a whole series of 
tops stretched on a more or less horizontal bar. This, too, can 
happen to us - if we let it. Calamity can turn dullness into music, a 
lone top into a lyre.  
   Father, let this truth sink deeply into my spirit so that I 
will be able to turn all my lone tops into lyres. Quicken within me 
today the sense that with You, I can overcome everything " including 
frustration. Amen. [Every Day With Jesus Bible with Selwyn Hughes devotional 
re Psa. 38:10, 11] 


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