Summary: This is a mini sermonette prepared for a tag team preaching.
But it hurts!
? Paul, are you crazy? What do you mean we should rejoice when we are faced with tribulations and trials? You don’t know my pain. You don’t know what I have to go through on my job, with my children, in my marriage, and how I have to rob Peter to pay Paul … You mean to tell me that God is serious in His word that in spite of all the pain that I am going through right now, I can actually rejoice while I’m suffering in these hardships?
I wrestled with this text because all I could think about was my trials. But as I looked a little closer, I was reminded that that God allows trials to use them to develop Christ likeness in us. He wants us to know that they are good because they help build us up in three ways.
1. Perseverance (Patience)
A. Persevere means to walk it out despite the pain.
B. Pain brings about perseverance. When we are face to face with difficulties (bad Dr. Report) – God is up to something! The scripture says “we know that suffering produces perseverance. So, while we are persevering through our tribulation, it works patience. Patience is a grace, of which God is the author. So when the pain hits, God is assuring us that He’s got our backs by giving us our fruit to be able to persevere. God allows the pain in our lives to teach us not to quit but to persevere. When we do, we learn … God can be trusted through all our trials. Because Perseverance is the greatest indication that OUR faith is genuine.
2. (Produces) Strength of Character
A. Character is who we are when no one is looking.
B. (Blessed and highly favored) Through our pain our character is refined. The word Tribulation comes from the Latin word Tribulum – heavy timber with spikes used for threshing grain. The tribulum was drawn over the grain and it separated the wheat from the tare. John 12:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you except a corn of what fall into the ground and die, it abided alone, but if it die, it brings forth much fruit. As we go through tribulations, and depend on God’s grace, the trials only purify us and help us get rid of (labels). Only a believer, who has faced the pain of facing foreclosure, facing a layoff, facing lights getting turn off, can persevere to allow their character to be strengthened.
A. Perseverance +Strength of Character lead to Hope
B. Hope is to have confidence and trust.
C. Tribulation – Perseverance-Strength of Character – Genuine Hope is not wishful thinking, but a firm assurance about things that are unseen and still in the future. Hope comes from God who is HOPE!
So I know this hurts but we have to focus on our process instead of our pain. My brothers and sisters, if you hold on and stay on track, I don’t care what the world has tried to say about us. We are Stronger, We are Stable and we are confident. For God has promised us in the midst of our trials: Philippians 1:6. - And I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ developing and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you.
So even though it hurts, God has already worked it out.