If you’re facing trouble today, throw yourself a party! That’s right. Throw a party. Call your friends and spread the news. Put on your dancing shoes and sing a happy song. Paul wants us to rejoice when we run into problems and trials, so get to it! Look in the mirror and say, “Praise God for my trouble! I’m in a pit with a lion on a snowy day and I’m THRILLED!”
Let's slow down here for a minute. If you've already started blowing up balloons, take a break. I don't want anyone to pass out. Here's the truth: rejoicing is the last emotion that comes to mind when trouble is near. Fear? Yes. Anger? Yes. Joy? Not so much. In verses 3 to 5, Paul attempts to explain WHY we can rejoice in tribulation.
1. We know that trials help us develop endurance. Untested strength is weakness. If you’ve only ever lifted 5 pounds, you won’t succeed at 100. Start lifting 100, and 150 is just around the corner.
2. Endurance develops strength of character. Consistency is the core of your character. If you can only be kind three days a week, you cannot be trusted. Our character is defined by our consistent expression of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
3. Character strengthens our confident hope of salvation, and this hope will not lead to disappointment. Hope is heavenly perspective. Hope is seeing the world through the eyes of the Father. When you see that today’s problems will build endurance, and that endurance will build character, and that character will build hope, you have exchanged your perspective for heaven’s perspective.