Friday, December 9, 2011

Reason to Rejoice

Life is good.  There are a lot of really happy times that I can remember.  Times where I laughed, times where I smiled, times where I rejoiced.  Some of them include when the Carolina Hurricanes won the Stanley Cup (we won't talk about them this year), when my high school rock and roll band played a stellar show, and more importantly, when I opened my mission call to the Montana Billings Mission.  Just thinking of those times fills my soul with joy. 

I had an experience recently that kind of threw me for a loop though.  The experience led me to believe that there are so many more times that we can and should rejoice.  In 1 Peter 4:12-13, Peter is explaining how suffering should cause us to rejoice.  He says, "Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings..."  That scripture hit me like a brick wall.  Never have I ever thought of that we could rejoice in suffering.  Logically, it doesn't make sense.  Spiritually is a whole different story. 

Times of trial should be considered blessings.  Trials refine us and define us.  Often times when hardship is happening, a blessing is the last thing we want to call it, but we can rejoice in Christ.  We can rejoice that we are suffering with him, and through that suffering, we grow that much closer to him.  We start to understand what he went through, while he fully understands what we do go through.  He loves us and will never leave us comfortless.  We must not sulk in sorrow during our suffering, but rather celebrate because of our sanctification, and realize the reason to rejoice!

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