Rabbi’s Reflections – Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Rejoice Through Suffering – Romans, part 50

Romans 5:2 Through Him we also have gained access by faith into this grace in which we stand and boast in the hope of God’s glory. 3 And not only that, but we also boast in suffering—knowing that suffering produces perseverance;

Ask yourself, “How much faith do I have?”  It’s a legitimate question.  I’m not asking you, ask yourself.  Faith, hope and love are all similar in that we don’t know how much we have until it is tested.  The same is true of patience and many other virtues.  Perseverance is the quality of being steadfast when things are tough.  How do we know, unless things are tough?

Plenty of Scriptures provide a training ground for perseverance.  For instance… Jacob 1:12 Happy is the one who endures testing, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life, which the Lord promised to those who love Him.

Did you see that?  “Happy is the one who endures testing.”  It’s not enough to endure, we are under divine command to be happy while enduring.  Sometimes I get asked if there was ever a time when I wanted to just shut the congregation down and stop being the rabbi.  To be honest, there were times like that, but they were brief and by the grace of God, we never did.

Rabbi Trail:  “By the grace of God,” can be a glib sort of statement, yet it is perhaps one of the most profound statements there is.  We depend on God’s grace more than we may think.  Every desire we have for God, His ways and His kingdom is the fruit of His grace.

God is always drawing us to Himself through grace.  1 John 4:10 This is love—not that we have loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atonement for our sins.  And it wasn’t just love for God that motivated me, but love for His people.  (I’m writing this to remind myself.)  Twenty-five years later, I look back and realize what a great miracle it is.  End RT.

I know, you want something very profound, worthy of your attention as you meditate throughout the day.  Okay, here you go… It could be as simple as this.  2 Thessalonians 3:13 But as for you, brothers, do not grow weary of doing good.  Or these words of Yeshua… Matthew 24:13 But the one who endures to the end will be saved.

But I know you.  You want even something more, something deeper.  Jacob 5:13a Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray.  Yeshua suffered more than any of us, and His suffering led to His coronation.  Hebrews 12:1b Let us run with endurance the race set before us, 2 focusing on Yeshua, the initiator and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before Him, He endured the cross, disregarding its shame; and He has taken His seat at the right hand of the throne of God.  And we join Him in this endurance… 1 Peter 4:16 But if anyone suffers for following Messiah, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this name.  

With all this focus on suffering, how do we end today on a positive note?  Well, here is this… Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always—again I will say, rejoice!

Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Tue 21 Mar-2023 28th of Adar, 5783
Le 2:7-16 Isa 23 Pr 16 Ac 15 (Rev 9)