Why Rejoice in Tribulation? (A biblical explanation to this paradox)

By Samuel Kwizera

“No one is without troubles, without personal hardships and genuine challenges “

–  Richelle E. Goodrich

The Bible proposes a puzzle to a Christian facing hardship and in need of comfort partially because scriptures talking about this subject have been misunderstood by many or read out of their context. To rectify this I would like to use Romans 5:3-4

Romans 5: 3 a “Not only so, but we also glory in our tribulations”.: Let’s start from here, the scripture itself seem to guide in the right interpretation since it says we glory in, not for. there is a complete difference in rejoicing for something and rejoicing in something for example:

Rejoicing for:  if I face a tribulation of any nature and all over sudden I burst into tears of joy saying thank you God, surely that would be a sadistic god whose glory is attained in the misery of his own people and that’s not what the bible argues for in the verse above. Forcing someone in despair to rejoice for the tribulation itself not only darkness the image of God but also the belief in God himself which introduces me to what we ought to do which is;

Rejoicing in: Rejoicing in is a better and realistic point of praise to God firstly because of the word tribulation.

This word “Tribulation” is derived from Latin word Tribulum which is an instrument made of wood and stones on which stalks of wheat are threshed on in order to get the grains from the stalk, the end product of this process is to get grains on one side and the left overs, the unwanted produces on the other side.  There is closer process in the Rwandan way of life called “Guhura” like “ Guhura ibishyimbo”

Romans 5:3 b “because we know that Tribulation produces perseverance” now that we understand what tribulation is in the context of this verse and in its original language, the tribulation produces perseverance.  But what is perseverance explained in this verse? The world perseverance in Greek comes from a word called “hypomonēn” whose closer meaning in English would be “cheerful endurance” which is very far from giving in to the trials and going through them because you can’t change anything about them. Like a weary and tired athlete watching the crossing line and giving all his strength to gain the prize of being the first so is the perseverance working during tribulations. Now that tribulation will produce a cheerful endurance the next product of these will be what we read here.

Romans 5: 4 perseverance, character, and hope.

The flow of the idea in this verse is coming to the end but let me back up a little bit and remind you where we came from.  We started with Tribulation then perseverance and we are coming to character but the joy of this character formed in this process in that it’s a test character, a “dokimos” character. Something is referred to as “dokimos” when it is legally acceptable and approved like coins or money – and so is like a character that has endured the tribulation, and persevered. At the end of tribulations, persevere and you will look back and thank God for the process, you will understand that through it all character and Hope were made visible in their clearest form.

I hope with this biblical interpretation  will help you  next time  as face tribulations with the conviction that you are in the process through which God is making the best out of you but more so with the same perspective in Roman 8:28 which is this “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” we may not understand the whole the nitty-gritty facts but we are convinced that through fire or stormy waters he is with us and the end is to build in us a tested character and a hope in our lord and saviour Jesus christ

Feel free to share this to anyone who can learn a thing from it.