Part 3 – Glory In Our Sufferings
Paul continues in these opening verses of chapter five to speak of the benefits or fruits that accompany our justification by faith. This sermon’s ‘benefit’ doesn’t appear to be a benefit at first glance because of the negative connotations associated with it. This ‘fruit’ is the ability by God’s grace and Spirit within us to ‘rejoice in our sufferings’.
This certainly doesn’t mean that we are to be ‘happy’ about suffering and the trials of life, or that we should go ‘looking’ for trouble, but rather, because Christ lives within us, and because the Lord said that this ‘gift’ or ‘fruit’ is already in our possession, then the Lord will be able (as Romans 8:28 tells us), to use these sufferings/trials for God’s glory and our maturity.
As we walk through our trials by trusting Christ, the natural consequence will be that the we will grow in our perseverance – our ability to be patient during trials. As we grow in our perseverance we will naturally develop a more Christlike character, which speaks of our inner personality, our temperament, disposition, or moral fiber. Again, this speaks highly of our development of a Christlike inner transformation. And finally (for this message), as we grow in our Christlike character it strengthens our hope – the confident expectation that the Lord will indeed finish the work that He starts in His redeemed children.