Profiting from Pain

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We can have hope in the midst of trials because God promises they are not in vain.

Romans 5:1-5

We have so many blessings for which to be grateful. And greatest of all is our salvation, because it’s the “hope of the glory of God” (Rom. 5:2). Someday we’ll step out of this life into the marvelous glories of heaven, which we can’t even imagine at present. But we can joyfully thank God for such an amazing prospect. It’s the hope that helps us endure all the hardships we face on earth.

However, Paul mentions another cause for exultation: our tribulations (Rom. 5:3). People rarely think of suffering as profitable and see no reason to rejoice, but God promises to use it for good. Oftentimes adversity results in spiritual growth. In times of pain, the façade we typically display is withdrawn to expose who we truly are. As our security or comfort is shaken, our true priorities, spiritual crutches, pride, and self-reliant ways are revealed. God may use the opportunity to strip away everything we depend on until nothing competes with Jesus’ reign in our life.

The Lord prioritizes spiritual growth over ease and comfort, and He knows how to develop perseverance and proven character within us. We may be tempted to fight or cry for a way out of hardship, but that gains us nothing in the end. Yet we can profit from pain by accepting the Father’s work in times of difficulty, knowing that He is shaping us into the image of His Son.

Instead of focusing on the pain or loss, turn your trials into a cause for hope. According to 2 Corinthians 4:17, “Momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison.” That’s why we can exult in our tribulations.

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