Romans 5:3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;
4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope:
5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
The previous devotion explored the importance of patience in the life of the believer. That study revealed how God’s word challenges us to have boldness and to pray for patience. Today’s study reveals why Christians are frequently taught not to ask or pray for patience. The scripture points out a four step process by which the believer increases in hope. This process includes wonderful aspects like patience, experience, and hope; however, the step preceding patience troubles most believers. “Tribulation worketh patience” (Romans 5:3). Since patience develops through enduring times of difficulty, the difficulties present the best opportunity to gain true patience. James reinforces this truth by stating that “the trying of your faith worketh patience” (James 1:3). People should not be discouraged from praying for patience since the inevitable tribulation and trials develop the patience, experience, and hope that God desires in the Christian’s life.
· (For children): Samuel anointed David to be Israel’s second king while Saul was still on the throne. David waited for God to remove Saul although Saul repeatedly tried to kill David. When David became king, the trials and tribulations helped him to wait on God when his own son Absalom tried to take his throne away.
· (For everyone): “Ye have need of patience” (Hebrews 10:36), but do you love God enough to go through tribulations in order to attain to the patience that God would have for you? Are you willing to endure the trials to gain the necessary patience?
· As a believer you will never experience the hope you want without allowing God’s process described in Romans 5:3-5 to develop it in your life. Do you ever wonder why Paul would say that he gloried in tribulations (Romans 3:5)?
· Ask God to help you more fully comprehend the benefits of patience.
· Ask God to give you a heart like Paul’s concerning tribulations.
Song: Have Thine Own Way, Lord!