Written by MayBell Developments – August 31st, 2022
When we find ourselves in the midst of a spiritual battle we often become enthralled with the subject of the struggle. Unable to look away, observe our surroundings, or see the bigger picture we find ourselves dragged down to the depths of our pessimistic thoughts. These spiritual battles can push us farther away from our Creator God and also draw us nearer to Him as we seek His Will for our lives. As we don our spiritual armour and battle for God’s Glory we may still become tunnel-visioned in our fight but we can know that there is a light at the end of that tunnel.
“And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, …” – Romans 5:3
It may seem a strange phrase to “exult in our tribulations”. We know the stories about the disciples and devout Christians being persecuted for their faith in Christ and often we, especially in the West, feel as though we’ve got it pretty easy in our faith walks. We can freely participate in worship and Church activities, walk around with our Bibles openly and speak of our faith in public. There is much to be grateful for.
When Paul spoke of tribulations he may have been referring to the persecution in the Church but the word he uses that translates to “our tribulations” is the Greek word thlipsis meaning pressing, pressing together, or pressure. The word “exult” is translated from the Greek word kauchaomai which is derived from a root that combines the words aucheo meaning to boast and euchomai meaning to pray to God. To “exult in our tribulations” in this sense means to boast about our pressures to God, to worship and thank Him for our pressing together.
“… knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; …” – Romans 5:3
The pressing together that God is working in our lives can come in many forms including through spiritual battles. We know in our hearts that our God is a purposeful God. He does not haphazardly throw together a plan but carefully and strategically lays out every detail and can see the outcome right from the beginning. And so as we know our God is a good God we also know that our pressing together has a purpose. God puts pressure on us to accomplish perseverance. The word Paul uses here is hypomonē meaning steadfast, enduring, and coming from the root word hypomenō meaning to remain and not flee. We are pressured so we will remain where we are, we will patiently and steadfastly endure where we are and not flee the situation. Isn’t it interesting that we often switch these statements in our teachings? We talk more about how we need to persevere through tribulations than about tribulations lead to our perseverance. Perseverance is not something that we can force ourselves to accomplish but instead something that God is accomplishing in us as He presses us together.
“… and perseverance, proven character; …” Romans 5:4
As God accomplishes His Works in us we become more pleasing to Him. The phrase “proven character” is translated from the Greek word dokimos meaning pleasing or acceptable. God created us in His image but from the fall of man, we have ceased to truly reflect His image. In God’s great plan He sent His Son to shield us from His wrath, saving us from eternal damnation. When Jesus ascended into heaven He sent the Holy Spirit to us. As the Holy Spirit works in us we become more as God had intended us to be at creation. Though we are still sinful humans, He rejoices when He sees pieces of His character in us.
“… and proven character, hope.” Romans 5:4
As our character, actions, and behaviours become more pleasing to God we develop hope, the pleasurable anticipation of good. How we have travelled in these two verses! From boasting about being pressed together by God to pleasurably anticipating the good to come.
At this point, we’d like to share with you some of the anticipated good that has come to MayBell. We have felt God’s pressing in the recent months and have remained in His presence through prayer. At times it was trying and meant taking an honest look at our actions as an organization but we are glad we struggled through to the light at the end of the tunnel.
In July, we felt God pushing us to step out of our comfort zone and hire an Executive Director for MayBell whose faith and passion for God’s people would not only build MayBell up but also reach more people for God’s Kingdom. This proved to be an extremely difficult decision for us as four very talented, passionate, and experienced women interviewed for the position.
Through much prayer, and the powerful voice of God, we are pleased to introduce to you our new Executive Director, Shelley Keizer.
We thank God that He presses us together so that we would remain, patiently and steadfastly enduring, becoming more pleasing to Him and anticipating the good to come.
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