“… through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces…” (Romans 5: 2, 3)
When Paul writes his theological masterpiece to the believers in Rome, he states that God has given us access by faith into all the grace we need to live a life that glorifies Him as we stand for Him in this world. When he wrote to the Corinthians he declared: “God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound in every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:8). That is the most superlative verse in the New Testament regarding the grace God has made available to authentic believers.
Can you and I imagine how God must feel when He knows how much grace He has made available to us as He observes us moving through our life in Christ without implementing that grace? In these wonderful verses Paul was telling us that we should rejoice in our sufferings because they force us to access the wonderful grace of which he was writing to the Romans and the Corinthians. In this context suffering produces.
One of my favorite mentors wrote that sometimes when we read verses like this we must allow the thought that God oversold the product in the New Testament. God has not oversold grace. We simply do not know how to access that grace. As you rejoice in your salvation, are you also willing to rejoice in your sufferings as they force you to access the grace of God?