Tribulation Junkie

Romans 5:1-5  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 in tribulations? Does it not seem like a stretch to glory (boast or joy) in tribulations? Tribulations are defined as pressure, anguish, burdens, and/or trouble. Who glories in that kind of stuff? We all accept the fact that tribulations are a part of life. It is one thing to accept it, but it is another thing to glory in it. How does this happen? When can we come to a place where tribulations are not something we endure but something that we can find joy in?

Some people thrive under pressure. Some people love it when they are “under the gun” and need to rise to the occasion. Others avoid pressure situations like the plague because they know the stress that comes with it. It is important to know that people who thrive under pressure are not necessarily looking for pressure situations, they just look at them from another perspective. Having peace with God gives us the ability to see tribulations with an entirely different perspective. The burdens, difficulty, or trouble we encounter in life is not what God uses to crush us, but it is what God uses to make us better. Christians are the one group of people who are not crushed in tribulation, but they thrive during moments of tribulation.

We are standing in grace through our peace with God. The grace of God gives us the ability to glory in tribulations. Tribulation is the platform God gives his children to demonstrate and distribute huge levels of grace. One of the reasons Christians have the ability to thrive under tribulation is the fact that they know what it is capable of doing in the lives of others. Christians possess a love for God as well as the love of God, and the tribulations we experience gives us an opportunity to spread that love. Our tribulations enable us to comfort those in tribulations with the same comfort we ourselves become comforted. Christians are not what you would consider “tribulation junkies”. They are not going around the world looking for hardships. Hardships seem to find them frequently and when it does they thrive. We thrive during moments of tribulation because we recognize the fact that we have chosen to receive high levels of God’s grace and then distribute that grace throughout the world.

One of the reasons we find it difficult to glory in tribulations is because we lose focus and become self consumed. I am not going to lie and say this is not everyone’s greatest struggle. The questions of “why Lord?” start popping into our minds and then we start to question God’s love as well as God’s will. The perspective we possess through our tribulations is connected directly with our relationship with the Lord. The deeper and more intimate our relationship with the Lord becomes, the more ability we will have to thrive during tribulation.