patient in tribulation

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“Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation”

are just two of the characteristics of the Christian.

The Lord has no use for a discouraged man; and it is certain that a gloomy, morose, despondent man cannot be a perfect Christian.

This is evident from the exhortation of the apostle, “Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say, Rejoice.” Phil. 4:4.

patient in tribulationA man’s rejoicing is the evidence that he has hope, and if he has no hope, he is in a pitiable condition indeed. See 1 Cor. 15:19. If a man really has hope in God, and in His promises, he must rejoice. If he doubts the fulfillment of these promises, and so fears that he may fail of them, then he does not really hope to receive them; but if he has a well-grounded hope in God, he cannot help rejoicing.

This does not imply that the Christian is to have vain self-confidence, as though, having once professed faith in Christ, nothing can cause him to fail. The psalmist says, “Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling.” Ps. 2:11.

We are to remember that we stand by faith, and so are not to be high-minded, but to fear. But this kind of fear, distrust of self, only leads us to depend on Christ, who is everlasting strength; and so long as our trust is in Him we are safe, and have good reason to rejoice. And so it is that our very fear and trembling may and should be turned into joy even hope.

“Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not high-minded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; that they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.”

Here is a wise and perfectly safe investment; good works are here specified and recommended for our practice, for your practice. Here are profits that are valuable. There will be no danger of a failure here. A treasure may be secured in heaven, a constant accumulation which will give to the investor a title to eternal life. And when his life here shall close, and probation end, he may lay hold on eternal life.



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