"WE GLORY IN TRIBULATIONS" Romans 5:3-5
God's elect, those who have been justified by the grace of God through the blood of Christ, are a people who "glory in tribulation." We glory in spite of our tribulations; and we glory in our tribulations, knowing that they "work for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory" (II Cor. 4:17). God's saints especially glory in those tribulations which they suffer for Christ's sake (Acts 4:41). We do not glory because of our tribulations; but we do glory in the midst of tribulations because tribulations, by a chain of causes, greatly encourage our hope in Christ.
"TRIBULATION WORKETH PATIENCE" - Tribulation itself does not produce patience in anyone; but tribulation which is sanctified by faith works patience. And the patience helps us far more than the tribulation hurts us.
"AND PATIENCE, EXPERIENCE" - As we patiently endure tribulation we experience things which otherwise we could only know in theory (God's Faithfulnes, Christ's Sympathy, The Spirit's Comfort,The Sufficiency of Grace). Growth in the grace and knowledge of Christ comes by experience. Thank God for any experience that produces it, even if the experience is tribulation.
"AND EXPERIENCE, HOPE" - Grace experienced increases hope of grace promised. Deliverance experienced encourages us to hope for deliverance to come (II Cor. 1:10).
"AND HOPE MAKETH NOT ASHAMED" - The good hope of grace, the hope of God's elect, is a hope that will never deceive. It is a blessed and sure hope. "The hope of the righteous shall be gladness; but the expectation of the wicked shall perish" (Prov. 10:28).
"BECAUSE THE LOVE OF CHRIST IS SHED ABROAD IN OUR HEARTS BY THE HOLY GHOST WHICH IS GIVEN UNTO US." In the midst of tribulation the Spirit of God pours out upon God's suffering children a fresh gust of God's special, covenant love, causing us to "glory in tribu- lations."The love of God is sealed to our hearts by the Holy Spirit; and the knowledge of God's love for us, revealed in the sacrifice of Christ and in his fatherly dealings with us (Heb. 12:5-11), draws out our love to him (I John 4:19).This blessed experience of God's love constrains us, in the midst of tribulation, to rejoice in the Lord and wait patiently before him in hope.