2By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
You see, when we know that we are righteous and that we have peace with God we have full access to the grace of God. That means we can stand no matter what is going on around us. Does it really matter who or what declares war on you when God is at peace with you? You can rejoice no matter what happens because you know that God is at peace with you.
You might have done something selfish and stupid today, but God is at peace with you. So rejoice!
3And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;
Not only can we stand no matter what happens, we can rejoice in tribulations. What does this mean? It means that when you know God is at peace with you, you can declare war on any situation or circumstance.
I remember a long time ago, when I was a little child about seven or eight, I was in the supermarket and I was causing trouble. I had escaped my mother’s careful eye and I was peeling the oranges around the fruit section and having a right giggle.
This lady, I don’t remember if she worked in the shop or not, decided to tell me off. In fact, she decided to try and put me over her knee and smack my backside.
I was very cheeky to her but I was actually very nervous, especially when she got a hold of me. She was twisting my wrist and was about to smack me one when my mother came around the counter. She yelled at this lady “don’t you mess with my son”, and the lady dropped me immediately. Suddenly I felt safe again, and started making rude gestures at the lady who simply backed off.
Now my behaviour was wrong, and my mother dealt with it, but the point is this: I wasn’t that ladies’ son and she could not declare war on me because I was at peace with my mother.
You are at peace with God – so glory in tribulation. People calling you names for being a Christian. Get excited – what are they really going to do to you in eternity? Nothing, because you are going to stand before God on judgment day and you have peace with God. Gives you a chance to preach the gospel to them.
Sickness comes on your body and attacks it. Glory because God is the Healer and you are at peace with Him. Bills stacking up, glory because God supplies all your needs and you are at peace with Him.
What your tribulation – your troubles – do is work patience. Patience in the New Testament simply means consistency. Anyone can praise God for healing when they are well. But patient people praise God for healing them no matter what their body feels like, and people like that don’t stay sick for long. Patient people thank God for His provision before they see it, and see it they will. There is such a joy in being consistent before the Lord.
4And patience, experience; and experience, hope:
This patience – the power of being consistent in praising God – always leads to experience. You will experience your healing if you consistently praise God for your healing. You will experience your freedom and deliverance if you consistently praise God for deliverance.
These verses are not about being patient in suffering, patient in barely scraping by. That is a lie. These verses are about being patient (consistent) in praising and glorifying God and thanking God and then experiencing what you are thanking God for.
These experiences then bring hope. Hope is your imagination. When you see one healing, you start to dream of other people being healed. When you receive enough provision to meet your needs, you start hoping for the money to start meeting other’s needs.
Hope means you are a positive person. When you know you are at peace with God you are positive. Any trouble in your life just makes you consistently praise and thank God for helping you because you know you are at peace with Him and He is your ally and He will help you. Your praise brings experience as you see your deliverance happen and then you are a hopeful person.
5And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
When you have hope you are never ashamed. No matter what you go through, you know that you are going through and not camping there. And that means you are not ashamed. It is no shame because your righteousness is based on the Lord and not your actions or your experiences.
And the other reason we are not ashamed: God has put His love in our heart. Notice that this is present tense again: God’s love IS shed abroad in our heart. Do you know that the full love of God is in your heart right now if you are born again?
There used to be a song sung in some churches: “More love, more power, more of you in my life.” It has a nice tune, I grant that, but it is completely incorrect Biblically speaking. If you are born again, the love of God is shed abroad in your heart. If you are born again, the same power that raised Jesus from the dead is inside you. If you are born again, the Lord lives inside you.
How can you ever have more love, more power and more of God in your life? It is nonsense. It would be like if you gave me the keys to your car and I kept wandering around you begging you for the very keys you had already given me. How would you answer a request like that? You would be very confused.
I don’t think God is confused, but asking for things you already have is ridiculous. You have the love of God inside you.
If someone near you is making you want to act unloving, don’t beg God to give you more love for that person. It is a nonsense prayer – and if you have ever prayed like that (I have!) you will know it simply does not work!
What do you do then? Follow the Scripture: glory in your tribulation. Notice the Bible says glory IN your tribulation, not glory FOR your tribulation. Don’t thank God that there is someone you find difficult to love in your life, thank God that the love of God IS in your heart. Your glory will bring patience: you will be someone who is consistency praising God.
Then your patient and consistent praising of God and thanking Him for the love that He has already put in your heart will become your experience. You will start to feel the love that you know is inside you. That will bring about hope. That is how you deal with trouble in your life.