Be careful not to exalt your tribulations to the point where you cannot see God in them. We generally love to speak about our difficulties, hardships, illnesses, our trials, etc. Such behavior is only natural. But we must not stop there as we do so often. Let’s learn to go a step further like Paul and rejoice not in the tribulation as much as in the Lord’s goodness in the midst of it.
Sometimes we can’t see the Lord because the tribulation itself has gotten in the way. The dark, foreboding cloud of despair eclipses all light we might enjoy from the Sun of righteousness. Imagine if we had the list of tribulations Paul had. People might grow weary of our continual complaint of all that we have gone through, all that we experienced, all the heartache, etc. But Paul teaches us here not to recount all the problems, but to rejoice in the comfort that God has given us.
How often we struggle to find words to speak of the goodness of God when we can find many words to complain. How often have our trials come and gone and sadly the Lord never gets the glory for the comfort we enjoyed all the way through.
Have you no words? ah, think again!
Words flow apace when you complain,
And fill your fellow creature’s ear
With the sad tale of all your care.
Were half the breath thus vainly spent
To heav’n in supplication sent,
Your cheerful song would oft’ner be—
“Hear what the Lord has done for me.”