“We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit Who has been given to us.” (Romans 5:3-5)
Although we have a lot of reasons to rejoice, sometimes life is really hard. Ecclesiastes 3 realistically observes that for everything there is a season:
“… a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance…”
It is important to realize that the Biblical command to “rejoice always” (1 Thessalonians 5:16) does not mean that we should always have a smile on our face. Many Psalms express people’s anguish, despair and sorrow as very real and legitimate experiences. God does not ask us to keep up appearances. However, the biblical perspective is wider than the temporary lack of joy.
The apostle Paul says that “we rejoice in our sufferings”. Not because they are so pleasant, but since they produce something good. The same goes for discipline we may have to endure. “For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it” (Hebrews 12:11). This way, a temporary lack of joy can be a blessing if it forces us to reflect on our life and to depend on God all the more.
Looking back on your life, have you ever been blessed through hardships?