I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth. Psalm 34:1
It is possible for two psychologies to coexist in our hearts at once–pain and praise. It’s like a football player who plays hurt. He feels bad, but he also feels good, both at the same time. It is so meaningful to be on the team and not in the stands, on the field and not on the bench. A man doesn’t mind the two-a-day practices and the wind-sprints and the drills and the work and the sweat. He’s glad to be playing the game, and not an easy game. The hardships of the game are the very thing that satisfy a man’s heart. Who wants to play an easy game?
We rejoice in our sufferings (Rom. 5:3-5). Not in spite of our sufferings. Not in the midst of our sufferings. But in our sufferings. It is our sufferings that make us rejoice. Our sufferings prove that we are not sidelined but deeply involved in the great struggle of our generation, which will matter forever. God, in grace, has set us apart to himself for a purpose of glory in these momentous days. We matter that much.
It’s not easy. We wouldn’t want it to be easy. We praise God just for including us.