Rejoice in sufferings? This seems like the very antithesis of human expectation. If you were to experience job loss, betrayal, deteriorating health, or a broken heart, what would the typical or normal an expected response be? Cyr? Mourn? Shut down? Go MIA? Worry? Panic? Plot revenge? Become angry?
Well, of course, we cannot cope with difficulty and trials on our own. God did not equip us with an independent spirit of strength and self-reliance; He equipped us with the resurrection power of the Holy Spirit. If we believe God is in control then we have to believe that our reward on the other side of our trial is far greater than our suffering. But we have to understand that our suffering produces a process of refining, endurance, strength, builds character, and deepens our relationship with the Lord.
When we praise God through the trials we invoke His spirit while keeping our focus on Him and the wonderful things He is able to bring out of hardship. I don’t think any of us can attest to greater abuse and suffering that the Apostle Paul. Despite his suffering, Paul chose to look beyond his beaten body and imprisonment and still rejoiced in celebration of the opportunity God gave him to minister to his prison guards.
“Consider it pure joy my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault and it will be given to him.”
So what I’m trying to say is, when you can’t find the strength to carry on or start doubting your ability to withstand the storm, pursue God’s abounding love, and in it, you will find the source of an everlasting supply of ALL that you need. Jeremiah 29:11