By Theodore Epp
Romans 5:3; 2 Corinthians 4:7-18
Humanly speaking, no one likes tribulation. Within ourselves we react negatively to difficulties. The word “glory” means “rejoice.” No unbeliever can do this, but the believer’s whole outlook is changed because of his relationship with Christ. A true Christian can look tribulation in the face and say, “I thank God for this difficulty; I rejoice in it.”
Notice that Romans 5:3 does not say we rejoice in spite of tribulations; rather, it says we rejoice in tribulations. This is sometimes an extremely difficult thing to learn. Have you learned it? If not, you are missing one of the greatest blessings that God has in store for you. You can rejoice and thank God even for the tribulation you are passing through.
Most believers are familiar with Romans 8:28, which emphasizes that God is working all things together for our good and His glory. God is using everything–whether we would call it tribulation or not–in order to mold us into the image of His Son (v. 29). And it takes difficulties to make us like Christ. In order for us to have the qualities of Christ, we need to pass through difficulties. They teach us valuable lessons in the Christian school of experience.
“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).