One of the first things God taught me is that everything serves a purpose for Him. We don’t always see the purpose and we don’t always understand the why of what is going on, but having faith and trust in God gives us a peace to know that He has it all under control.
There do seem to be times, though, when it’s like God has stepped back and just let bad things happen to us. There are times when we seem overloaded with things going wrong, we don’t understand why and we get to the point were we just can’t take it anymore. You just feel like crying out “Why Lord!?!”
Its times like these that we should rejoice through our tribulation.
And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. Romans 5:3-5
The word exult in Greek is Kauchaomai (kow-khah’-om-ahee) and it means to glory -whether with reason or without
That doesn’t mean we are to glory because we are going through something, but we are to glory through it. Glorifying God through troubled times builds perseverance. Perseverance is the steadfast effort to follow God’s commands and to do His work. It is to go on resolutely or stubbornly in spite of opposition, importunity, or warning.
When you glorify God through something it helps you to keep focus on Him, to draw you closer to Him, and to help you learn from the event so you may, in turn, help someone. You become an example to others and you reflect who you are in the Lord by your actions and words. This is proven character.
As in water face reflects face, so the heart of man reflects man. Proverbs 27:19
You show you are (or are not) a person of God by the things you say and do. In Matthew 15:18 Jesus teaches us that the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man.
When you speak critically of people, when you gossip, when you lie, when you curse, when you take the Lord’s name in vain, you defile who you are in Christ. You may think you are a person of God, but you are reflecting something totally different. Others will also not see you as a person of God, but a hypocrite.
When you speak well of others, don’t gossip, speak blessings and not curses, and give praise to God then you are reflecting the love of God the way God desires you to. Not only do your words, but your actions also reflect who you are.
In the book of Galatians it teaches us that when you walk by the Spirit, you will not carry out the desires of the flesh (Galatians 5:16).
Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. Galatians 5:19 – 21
That is a pretty strong warning to say those who practice these things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But it’s important to understand the word practice. It means to choose to continue to do something, to choose to carry on. It doesn’t mean you won’t ever get angry or jealous or commit one of the other actions by mistake. We are only human and are prone to mistakes. But to practice it means you know its wrong and you choose to continue doing wrong – you don’t even try to not do it. You desire the things of the flesh and reject the gift of God.
Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Galatians 5:24
When you accept the sacrifice of Christ as atonement for your sin, you choose to repent. You choose to turn away from sin. You nail that flesh of yours on the cross – leave it there and choose to walk in the Spirit.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22 – 23
When you walk in the Spirit you will be a reflection of God and will reflect His love the way God desires you to. Choose to reflect who you are – in truth – a child of the living God, saved by the blood of Christ and filled with the Spirit of God.
It is this reflection that builds hope. To hope is to cherish a desire with anticipation. Our desire is to have an everlasting life with the Lord. God loves you so much He gave His Son so you could have that life.
God is love. If you are not reflecting His love, then the question becomes “Who are you?” If you are not reflecting God’s love it is time to examine yourself, in truth. It is time to choose to seek forgiveness from God for your sins. It is time to choose to walk in the Spirit and do what is acceptable to God. It is time to choose life.
Now exult through your tribulations. You have a hope that God has given you a life of peace with Him and you rejoice in that hope. Exulting through tribulation helps you to reflect the fruit of the Spirit. It builds you up and strengthens you so you may have the endurance to continue on. It helps you to be a reflection of God; it helps you to have peace in who you are – a child of the living God.