Joseph named his older son Manasseh, for he said,
“God has made me forget all my troubles
and everyone in my father’s family.”
Joseph named his second son Ephraim, for he said,
“God has made me fruitful in this land of my grief.”
GENESIS 41:51-52 (NLT)
It’s important to see that Scripture never glorifies suffering for its own sake. The kind of suffering the Bible so consistently pairs with joy is not pain for pain’s sake but suffering that produces something else, suffering that goes somewhere, suffering that creates godly qualities in us that gladden the heart of God.
The apostle Paul makes this clear in Romans 5:3 when he writes, “We also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance.” He DOES NOT say, “We rejoice in our sufferings, because excruciating pain is its own reward.” We can rejoice in our trials because we know that, when properly cultivated, they will blossom into precious, divine fruit.
Dear brothers and sisters,
when troubles of any kind come your way,
consider it an opportunity for great joy.
For you know that when your faith is tested,
your endurance has a chance to grow.
So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed,
you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.
JAMES 1:2-4 (NLT)
ON THE JOURNEY WITH YOU,
JAN & DAVE DRAVECKY