God's Purpose in Suffering

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Romans 5:3-5 Not only that, but 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.

This passage is in the middle of a section that commentators often call the benefits of justification. Having established justification through faith in chapters 3,4, Paul sets forth in the first 11 verses of chapter 5, some of the benefits of justification. What are the benefits:
Verse 5:1 Peace with God.
Verse 5:2 Stability in God's grace, access into God's presence, the hope of glory.
Verse 5:5 The Holy Spirit, God's love poured into your heart.
Verse 5:6 Christ saved you while you were still weak, when you couldn't save yourself.
Verse 5:9 Saved from God's wrath.
Verse 5:10 Sanctification through Christ's life.
Verse 5:11 A reconciled relationship with God.

Now the question is, "What is suffering doing in the middle of this list of goods?" And the answer clearly is that although, from a worldly perspective, suffering is a "bad," from God's eternal perspective, suffering is a "good." It is a "good" on par with these other goods because it is a tool in the master's hand to conform you to the image of Christ in holiness such that you have true godly character with hope.

Feb 25, 2024
Sunday - AM
Romans 5:3-5
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