Welcome to Word on Wednesday! Today’s comments on the Word (from Romans 5:3-4 and James 1:2-4) are written by a very dear friend of mine, Carolyn Shepherd. She is a woman of courage who shares unique and wonderful truths from the Word of God. Carolyn does understand pain, difficulties and the challenges of life, although she does not like to be defined by them. Carolyn lives with chronic pain on a daily basis and understands not only physical pain, but emotional pain which can be even deeper. I know you will appreciate Carolyn’s insights on “rejoicing”.
Her comments are being shared with her permission.
Rejoice in our Sufferings by Carolyn Shepherd
Rejoice in our sufferings? Count it all joy? Ack… Ack… Wheeze… Choke.
“Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope… Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” Romans 5:3-4; James 1:2-4
Like I said — Rejoice in our sufferings? Count it all joy? Gag! Pftfthew… But if I start there, and stick to it, I end up with hope, and completeness, and isn’t that what my aching soul needs right now?
[tweet_dis]So there has got to be more to this rejoicing than singing happy songs[/tweet_dis] and accentuating the positive. So I dig a little deeper. What I learn from it is this: we rejoice not because of the circumstances, but because of the gift of God’s grace.
I can do that. I can rejoice because of the gift of God’s grace. On my worst days. When the pain is overwhelming. When God seems a million miles away, and hope seems no closer, I can do that. Because God’s grace is greatest when I’m weakest. So in my sufferings, I can rejoice. I can rejoice for the gift of God’s grace in the midst of it all… Grace, Grace, God’s Grace… Marvelous, Infinite, Matchless Grace.