Monday, August 25, 2008

tribulation and glory

Philipians 4:4-7 says
Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. 5Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. 6Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
The peace of God has to be experienced or proved to be properly understood. Although it is natural, like a gasp of the soul, to think, 'I wish this hadnt happened', Paul takes another view. This will seem perverse to eyes that lack Faith but in Romans 5:3 he says this:
And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience
And we may then be tempted to think, well, is such tribulation worth it for 'patience'??? But he adds...
knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope: and hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us
Thus, the path to a greater sense and appreciation of the love of God is right through tribulation.
The sooner we can come to not only accepting tribulations but thanking God for them as kind providences, the sooner we can be blessed in them to the end that we better know and make known the God of Peace.
One other feeling that the Enemy, as accuser of souls, would have us mull over is that it is because I have been such a lousy Christian that this 'misfortune' has hit me: his activity in this regard is plainly seen in the book of Job. But the fact that God allows this exceedingly gracious and spiritually diligent and prosperous man to suffer, at Satan's hands, should give the lie to such treacherous thoughts. So I hope and pray that we will, as James says,
count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
and intend to
'...let patience have her perfect work, that ye [we] may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing'

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