Tribulation Works


Our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!

~2 Corinthians 4:16-17


Tribulation {Suffering} is the divinely appointed flail that separates the chaff from the wheat.

~H. A. Ironside

Lord willing I will be in Romans 5 today and the process by which we are sanctified is laid out by the Apostle Paul. It begins like this in the AV, We glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation works patience. We may not like it but tribulation is the most productive tool in the shed. Military training testifies to the fact that character and strength come from discipline and rigorous training. God uses adversity and suffering to hone us, to refine us and to cleanse us or purge us of impurities. Like a master artist, He is chipping away at everything that does not look like Jesus. Your training will probably include a couple of broken hearts and some very deep disappointments but the results will be worth it. God is going to humble you, teach you, make you more sensitive to the sorrows of others. He is going change the way you think about Him, sin, self, service and others.

There was time in my life when I thought serving the LORD was a burden and a sacrifice. I preached because I was afraid not to but God changed all of that stinking thinking. I have made no sacrifices–preaching the gospel is a great privilege. I get incredible joy is serving others. He has also given me a distaste for sin, especially my own. I not longer admire sin: I think it is stupid. Matter of fact, I know it is stupid. I find it incredible that at the end of this process, I will be glorified. I will share in the glory of Christ and it will all happen by the power of His grace. It is by His stripes that I will be healed. He will make me presentable as a bride adorned for her husband. He created me for Himself and I will not be complete until I am joined with Him in heaven. To be in His presence is glory enough for me. Have you ever seen a man that was just not all there until he meet the right woman. Her love transformed him. Her love gave him confidence and strength. Just as Christ created Eve to fulfill Adam, He created us to fulfill Himself. We are His beloved. Sounds too good to be true doesn’t it: that is what makes it the gospel.

In preparing today’s blog, a story came to mind. Around 40 years ago, one of Jeff’s aunts made the statement, in my presence, that Jeff would be a stick in the mud if not for Jennifer. I quickly corrected her: I said, “You got it backwards, Jennifer would be in Julian Tutwiler if it wasn’t for Jeff.” When Jimmy found out what I had said, I was worried but when he confronted me, he just laughed and said, “You have that girls number.” One of these days I will have to tell the story about Jennifer and her Bobcat.

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