I am enclosing a few preliminary notes I have made on this subject, as I have been studying it...Hopefully, your above question will begin to be answered with this:
“1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;
4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope:
5 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.”
“Glory” meaning to boast – with or without reason
2347 yliqiv thlipsis thlip’-sis
from 2346; TDNT-3:139,334; n f
AV-tribulation 21, affliction 17, trouble 3, anguish 1, persecution 1, burdened 1, to be afflicted + 1519 1; 45
1) a pressing, pressing together, pressure
2) metaph. oppression, affliction, tribulation, distress, straits
Trouble or affiiction of any kind #De 4:30 Mt 13:21 2Co 7:4 In #Ro 2:9 "tribulation and anguish" are the penal sufferings that shall overtake the wicked. In #Mt 24:21,29 the word denotes the calamities that were to attend the destruction of Jerusalem. “
In Romans 5:3, Paul seems to be explaining how God’s plan of righteousness, by faith, in the helpless human agent, will bring to the believer peace and joy, during times of prosperity, and times of distress and sorrows.
Paul is telling us how the Hope of future glory, and the endurance of present trouble, go hand in hand, in the believer’s heart and life. It appears that Jesus too noted this fact when He said: “These things have I spoken to you, that IN ME, ye might have peace. In the world, ye shall have tribulation: Be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” (Jo.16:33).
“Beloved, think it not strange, concerning the fiery trial which is to try you; as though some strange thing happened unto you: but rejoice, in as much as you are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that when His glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also, with exceeding joy.” (1 Pet.4:12-13).
Why would Paul say this? Is it possible to think this way about our trials, and to be glad in the midst of them, as this text seems to suggest?
We don’t always consider how the sanctification that we so earnestly desire, and for which we pray for so fervently, is brought about by the Truth, (Jo.8:32), and by the providence of God. (Phil.4:11); and in a manner in which we least expect. (Isa.55:11-12).
When we look for joy; behold, there is sorrow. When we expect peace; we often have distrust, and doubt; because we find ourselves plunged into trials that we can’t seem to avoid, no matter what we do or don’t do; and I sometimes feel so trapped as though certain of these trials that I can never escape, in my own strength, and wisdom.
It has been my personal experience, that in these very trials I find most difficult, I am simply experiencing answers to my prayers. In order for me to be purified, the fire of affliction, may indeed kindle upon me; so that, if I should choose, my will be brought into conformity to the will of God, ( Phil.2:5), in all the things that accompany my salvation. (Heb.6:9).
Sometimes, God sees it best to put me under a course of discipline, which is essential for me, before I would be able to approach being a fit subject for the various blessings that I crave so much. That’s why, as a Christian, I can say that “all things do indeed, work together for good…” (Rom.8:28). Really, when I think about it for long, I shouldn’t become so discouraged, till I give way to doubt, and think that my prayers are not noticed by God. (1 Kings 8:28, Ps.42:8, Ps.66:19-20, 69:13, 1 Chron.28:9).
We need to rely more securely on Christ, , and to leave our case with God to answer in His own way…”He hath made all things beautiful, in His time.” (Eccl. 3:11). When has God ever promised that He would bestow any of His blessings, in any particular manner that we have spelled out to Him? God’s plans are always the best, although we may not always discern them.
Perfection of Christian character can only be attained through labor, conflict, and self denial. Why would we need patience, or faith, or wisdom, if nothing bad ever happened to us? If no challenges ever came along? I know that, personally, I’m not in the habit of counting on this process of trial and affliction; nor do I like to consider the painful, and sometimes protracted process of purifying necessary for me, in order that I may be conformed to the image of Christ…”That we may be one,” is the watchword for Christians, in God’s Remnant Church.
I know that God often answers my prayers in ways that I least expect. He will bring me into positions that I find the most trying, to reveal what is really in my heart. “Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work, of what sort it is.” (1 Cor.3:13).
To further the development of the Christian graces, God will place me in circumstances, that will require increased exertions on my part, to keep my faith in lively exercise. “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of God.” (2 Pet.3:18).
"And [David T Battler] called on the God of Israel, saying: 'O that Thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that Thine hand might be with me, and that Thou wouldest keep me from the evil, that it may not grieve me!" (1 Chron.4:10).
Recently, I had to go into a deep, dark valley. I was on two physician described drugs, (very poweful ones), for almost two years, and I decided that God was going to be the one to do what these drugs are purported to do.
The above Scripture was my constant prayer.
Today, it is my birthday; I am writing with a clear mind, and I am drug free! I am praising the Lord all the way - even though the last few weeks has been tough; there has been a signal victory in Jesus here.
I know that a friend, brother Richard, has been praying for me; and if anyone else was, I thank you for your prayers.
If anyone reading this is currently having a drug problem; know that there is victory in Jesus!
But you must give YOURSELF completely over to Him; that He might take charge of those dark recesses of the mind, which create the need for drugs of many kinds.
And, isn't it fitting that the above Scripture I quoted ends thus:
"And God granted [David T Battler] that which he requested."
Can we say "Amen!" loud enough people!
Let us, as a people, always bear in mind, how inestimably precious are the gifts of God, the graces of His Spirit; and we will never shrink from the trying, testing process, no matter how painful, or humiliating it may be to us.
“We must gather about the cross. (Gal.6:14). Christ, and Him crucified, should be the theme of contemplation, of conversation, and of our most joyful emotion.
We should keep in our thoughts, every blessing we receive from God, and when we realize His great love, we should be willing to trust everything to the hand that was nailed to the cross, for us. “Ye who are sometimes afar off, are made near by the blood of Christ.” (Eph.2:13).
If only Christians would associate together, speaking to each other the precious Truth of the Love of God, then, their own hearts would be refreshed; and they would bless one another, fulfilling the prayer of Christ, “that they may all be one;” refreshing one another with the love of God. (Jo.8:32, Isa.28:12, Acts 3:19).
We may be daily learning of our heavenly Father, gaining a fresh experience of His grace, and then we shall desire to speak of His love, and as we do this, our own hearts will be encouraged and warmed. If we thought and talked more about Jesus, and much less of self and the devil, we should have far more of the Counsellor’s presence. (Isa.9:6).
It is worth noting that anytime the disciples of Jesus talk about Him…”Jesus Himself draws near.” (Luke 24:13-15). And, in His presence, there is fullness of joy. (Isa.63:9, Ps.16:11).
God never wastes an experience. The person who walks with God, always gets to their destination.
The title of my next post in this section will be “Struggle = Opportunity.”
"...We believe that through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, we shall be saved..." (Acts 15:11).
Your brother in Christ
David T. Battler