Rom 5:1-3 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance;
The truths of these verses all build on one another…
We have been proclaimed innocent by a gracious God who greatly desires intimacy with people. We have been granted the reconciliation and now we experience peace with God. As a result we have access into Grace by Faith. It’s by Grace we stand,
by Grace we rejoice to live any sort of life that will Glorify God the most, and by Grace we can ultimately become a people who Rejoice in Tribulations. It is a people who are aware of these truths that are empowered to live this style of life.
TRIBULATION AND GLORY
The word that is translated Tribulation shows up 45 times in the New Testament. It is most often translated tribulation, affliction or suffering. It is the same word that Jesus uses in Mat 24:21 – There shall be great tribulation such as has not been since the beginning of the world, nor shall ever be.
The word translated Rejoice in vs. 2 and Glory in vs. 3 are actually the same Greek word. The phrase, “Glory in tribulations” could be translated in any of the following ways: Glory in Tribulations, Joy in Troubles, Gladly Suffer, Rejoice in our sufferings, Boast in our sufferings, Glory in afflictions, Rejoice in afflictions, Exult in our tribulations, Full of Joy even when we suffer, Rejoice in our sufferings, Boast in the tribulations…
REJOICING IN THE GLORY OF GOD AS A REQUISITE
Only the one who desires for the Lord to gain the greatest amount of Glory from His life regardless of what happens to Him, will be one who can GLORY/REJOICE in Tribulations. This is a key point, if you are not given to live for the Glory of God, you will complain in tribulations without considering the divine activity of conformity to Christ or the forging of your soul into the pure design God has desired for you. You will not regard whether or not the Lord is receiving glory from your life and will forfeit the prospect of bringing glory to His name in exchange for attaining benefits for yourself. A life willing to be layed down for God’s Glory is able to willingly, gleefully and joyfully REJOICE through tribulation and suffering. This life recognizes that God gains great glory when His people love well through suffering.
SPIRIT OF GLORY
1Pe 4:12-16 Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; 13 but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. 14 If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified. 15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as a busybody in other people’s matters. 16 Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter.
Rejoice that you get to partake of Christ’s sufferings, for if you do, the Spirit of Glory rests upon you as you suffer as a Christian. On your part He is glorified… Jesus is glorified through your life when you glory in tribulations.
God is not so much interested in your comfort, He is mostly after your conformity to the image of His Son.
Being able to Rejoice in Tribulation/suffering, at least in part, equals Conformity to Christ. The extent that you are unable to rejoice through tribulations is an indicator of the lack of conformity that you have to Christ. It is an indicator of the distance you have to go in your journey of Conformity to Christ.
A PEOPLE WHO GLORY IN TRIBULATIONS
Oh that God would have a people who glory in tribulations. To glory in tribulations means your motives have changed – you no longer seek to glorify yourself and gain glory for yourself… it means you have died and yet Christ lives in you, it means you have embraced the Love of God as the great reward of life, it means you trust that He is benevolent and that nothing can separate you from His Love.
QUALITY/BRAND OF CHRISTIANITY
The quality of Character – spirit and soul – that a believer has to have in order to actually glory in tribulations is foreign to our concept of Christianity in the West.
We try to avoid tribulation at all costs, we believe that those suffering tribulation lack faith. We twist or explain away the entire concept of suffering in the will of God because we have no palate for it.
We are shallow in our Christianity so we cannot conceive of trials/tribulations/suffering being anything but negative. We are therefore short-cited and have no faith to believe for the inner fortitude produced through suffering nor the rewards gained in the age to come from suffering in this age.
1Pe 3:17-18 For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. 18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit,
1Pe 4:19 Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator.
1Pe 4:1-2 Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, 2 that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God.
1Pe 2:19-21 For this is commendable, if because of conscience toward God one endures grief, suffering wrongfully. 20 For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God. 21 For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps:
Php 1:29-30 For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake, 30 having the same conflict which you saw in me and now hear is in me.
ARE YOU RESIGNED TO THE WILL OF GOD?
THE THEMES of ROMANS
There is a continuity to the themes in the book of Romans… each builds upon a previous one.
The concepts in Romans 5 are all built upon Paul’s explanation of justification. In Romans 5 Paul is offering a summary of what is available to all who are justified. The whole book was written in order for Paul to level the playing field between Jew & Gentile and that all would be accepted in the Church at Rome. That is the main thrust of the book.
There are several different strands of themes that take place throughout the book. The book climaxes in Romans 11 where he warns the Gentiles not to be haughty against the jews and explains that ALL Israel will be saved. Paul describes that the method that God is going to use to bring this to pass is a provoking to jealousy. He explains that in order to provoke the Jew to jealousy salvation has come to the Gentiles.
Rom 11:11 to provoke them to Jealousy salvation has come to the Gentiles
Rejoicing in the Glory of God enables one to Glory in Tribulations. Glorying in Tribulations is a key to being conformed to the image of Christ. This whole package is the picture of what believers will look like who will provoke the Jews to jealousy.
Right now there is not much provoking going on… but oh for that day, there will be a great provoking. And because of the call to provoke the jews Paul says in Romans 12 present your bodies a living sacrifice which is your reasonable service, don’t be conformed to this world but be transformed. The Jews who historically complained through their sojourn in the wilderness will be astounded by believers who will rejoice through tribulations at the end of the age.
Anyone who rejoices through tribulations is a testimony to all who are around them. How much more will the affects of this testimony be compounded when persecution and martyrdom is happening en masse across the Globe and the church stands un-offended, rejoicing in the fact that she gets to suffer for the sake of the Lord Jesus. How will this affect the wayward nation of Israel who has for many years rejected the beckoning of her messiah?
Act 5:40-41 And they agreed with him, and when they had called for the apostles and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. 41 So they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name.