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Exult in My Tribulations?
By Mindy Lee Hopman
Thursday, October 19, 2017
“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand;
and we exult in hope of the glory of God.” Romans 5:1-2 NASB
My family and I live in a location that is known for its pristine beaches, protected forest preserves, and wildlife filled marshes. Families come from afar to vacation in the Lowcountry during the summertime and holiday breaks.
We love where we live; however, this past year we faced hard adversity when two devastating hurricanes traveled up the East Coast. The first major storm took down several of the island’s beloved trees. The second storm brought a destructive storm surge with it, like no other.
The surge was bound to be high when we witnessed the water hit its height limit two hours before high tide. There was nowhere for the water to go. We quickly added additional sandbags around all four sides of our home. The water came up fast and furious from the creek across the street.
It rapidly flowed underneath my neighbor’s house, and right down our street. It traveled up my driveway, surrounded my house on all four sides, and kept rising. I watched the water cover my front porch steps one-by-one.
Once my husband and I realized that there was nothing left for us to do, we sat on the front porch, watched the water continue to surge all around us, and prayed.
My son got ahold of one of our kayaks and began kayaking out of our driveway and down our street. I don't think I would have believed this story if I had not seen it with my very own eyes!
“And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” Romans 5:3-5 NASB
It's easy for us to exult in the hope of the glory of God, but Paul tells us in Romans to also exult in our tribulations! Let’s be honest, my husband and I were not feeling joy in our hearts to exalt God when the water was rising around our home and gushing into the crawl space underneath our home.
So how do we exalt, or praise, God when we are in the middle of a tribulation?
Are you in the middle of a hurricane? Praise God.
Are you battling cancer? Praise God.
Are you going through a divorce? Praise God.
Are you having problems with a relationship, a friendship, your grades or finances? Praise God.
When we shift our eyes off of the situation and praise God in the middle of the tribulation, our focus shifts from self to Savior. Tribulations affirm our need for a Savior. In the adversity, we acknowledge that God is in control and He will see us through until the end (Isaiah 41:10).
We remember that Christ overcame and so will we one day (1 Corinthians. 15:4). We remember that one day God will wipe away every tear (Revelation 21:4). And when our spiritual endurance is strengthened, character is built, and this is where hope is found.
Heavenly Father, I praise you for the tribulations in our lives that cause us to look toward You. It’s in the adversity that we seek Your face and find You. Thank You for meeting us right where we are and for reminding us that You hold our hearts just as You hold the whole wide world in Your hands. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
© 2017 by Mindy Lee Hopman. All rights reserved.
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