Glory in Tribulation?
Scripture: "And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us" (Romans 5:3-5 NKJV)
Observation: we glory in tribulation also; knowing that tribulation worketh patience—Patience is the quiet endurance of what we cannot but wish removed, whether it be the withholding of promised good (Ro 8:25), or the continued experience of positive ill (as here). There is indeed a patience of unrenewed nature, which has something noble in it, though in many cases the offspring of pride, if not of something lower. Men have been known to endure every form of privation, torture, and death, without a murmur and without even visible emotion, merely because they deemed it unworthy of them to sink under unavoidable ill. But this proud, stoical hardihood has nothing in common with the grace of patience—which is either the meek endurance of ill because it is of God (Job 1:21, 22; 2:10), or the calm waiting for promised good till His time to dispense it come (Heb 10:36); in the full persuasion that such trials are divinely appointed, are the needed discipline of God’s children, are but for a definite period, and are not sent without abundant promises of “songs in the night.” [Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Ro 5:3–4). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.]
Application: I don't know about you, but I find it hard to be happy about troubles that come my way. It is often hard to see the blessings amid the trials. And yet, scripture reminds us that tribulations produce perseverance. In other words, good can come from what we see as bad. It is hard enough when we, as adults go through tough times. But, it is really hard when we see that our children are suffering.
When our children suffer, whether from their own bad choices or those of someone else, we want so badly to rescue them from the situation. We want to "fix it". In fact, if possible, we would gladly take the pain upon our own shoulders. But, God has another plan — to perfect them through their trials. Character-building lessons are rarely learned from the triumphs or successes in life. Rather, it is the disappointments and trials in our lives that teach us how to persevere despite the pain. Taking trials away from our kids deprives them of the chance to grow, build character, and trust in God. The best character-building lessons are learned when our children get up after they have fallen. Don't inhibit your child's growth by rescuing them from or taking over difficult situations. Instead, give them the tools to pick themselves up.
Another challenge is when our child looks at us with teary eyes and asks, "W hy?" We need to admit that even parents do not always have the answers. It is not as important that we answer all the questions as it is that we teach them to trust Jesus. Even when we do not understand we need to trust Him. We need to trust Jesus to open the next door and show us the way out.
As parents, do you feel the need to always rescue your child? How do you help your child deal with disappointments? Perhaps the best thing we can do as parents is to kneel down beside our children and teach them to take it to The Lord in prayer.
A Prayer You May Say: Lord, help me to see the blessings among the trials. Help me to teach my child that good things can come out of the bad. Even when we do not understand all of the reasons or have all of the answers, help us as a family to trust you.
Used by permission of Adventist Family Ministries, North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.