How does a believer grow into maturity?
My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
Right! How can any rational being say it is joy when you are having troubles?
I Peter 4:13
But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.
Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,
Peter and Jude chime in on the same note and Paul in a damp dirty dungeon in Philippians write over and over about joy and rejoicing.
To answer the question: how can we have joy in the midst of trouble we must look at a new perspective. Consider the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus’ inaugural address to Christianity. He gives 8 beatitudes. Seven is the perfect number. So look at the seventh beatitude.
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
A peacemaker is one who takes two who are at odds and brings them together.
- Man and God
- Husband and wife
- Brother and sister
- Business partners
- Two employees
So we see that the peacemaker is not only a soul winner but the one with the answers to life situations. That person will rise up through the ranks as a person with the character of Christ. The devil does not like that so he will send out his minions to do their dirty work.
11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
Now then we see the eighth beatitude. Eight is the number of new beginning. It is cap and gown time. We are going across the stage with our diploma in hand. Outward evidence of crowns in heaven is persecution here. When we learn to rejoice during the trouble the world knows we do not fit in their box. Now then we can go for the next cycle and graduate to another level.
Does this help? Now can you get excited about the petty little problems we face here and now? Not even close to anything the apostles faced is it?