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Romans 5:3

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

And not only so - We are not only happy from being in this state of communion with our God, and the prospect of being eternally with him;

But we glory in tribulations also - All the sufferings we endure for the testimony of our Lord are so sanctified to us by his grace, that they become powerful instruments of increasing our happiness.

Tribulation worketh patience - Ὑπομονην, Endurance under trials, without sustaining loss or deterioration. It is a metaphor taken from refining metals. We do not speak thus from any sudden raptures, or extraordinary sensations we may have of spiritual joy: for we find that the tribulations through which we pass are the means of exercising and increasing our patience, our meek forbearance of injuries received, or persecutions experienced, on account of the Gospel.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

And not only so - We not only rejoice in times of prosperity, and of health. Paul proceeds to show that this plan is not less adapted to produce support in trials.

But we glory - The word used here is the same that is in Romans 5:2, translated, “we rejoice” καυχώμεθα kauchōmethaIt should have been so rendered here. The meaning is, that we rejoice not only in hope; not only in the direct results of justification, in the immediate effect which religion itself produces; but we carry our joy and triumph even into the midst of trials. In accordance with this, our Saviour directed his followers to rejoice in persecutions, Matthew 5:11-12. Compare James 1:2, James 1:12.

In tribulations - In afflictions. The word used here refers to all kinds of trials which people are called to endure; though it is possible that Paul referred particularly to the various persecutions and trials which they were called to endure as Christians.

Knowing - Being assured of this. Paul‘s assurance might have arisen from reasoning on the nature of religion, and its tendency to produce comfort; or it is more probable that he was speaking here the language of his own experience. He had found it to be so. This was written near the close of his life, and it states the personal experience of a man who endured, perhaps, as much as anyone ever did, in attempting to spread the gospel; and far more than commonly falls to the lot of mankind. Yet he, like all other Christians, could leave his deliberate testimony to the fact that Christianity was sufficient to sustain the soul in its severest trials; see 2 Corinthians 1:3-6; 2 Corinthians 11:24-29; 2 Corinthians 12:9-10.

Worketh - Produces; the effect of afflictions on the minds of Christians is to make them patient. Sinners are irritated and troubled by them; they complain, and become more and more obstinate and rebellious. They have no sources of consolation; they deem God a hard master; and they become fretful and rebellions just in proportion to the depth and continuance of their trials. But in the mind of a Christian, who regards his Father‘s hand in it; who sees that he deserves no mercy; who has confidence in the wisdom and goodness of God; who feels that it is necessary for his own good to be afflicted; and who experiences its happy, subduing, and mild effect in restraining his sinful passions, and in weaning him from the world the effect is to produce patience. Accordingly, it will usually be found that those Christians who are longest and most severely afflicted are the most patient. Year after year of suffering produces increased peace and calmness of soul; and at the end of his course the Christian is more willing to be afflicted, and bears his afflictions more calmly, than at the beginning. He who on earth was most afflicted was the most patient of all sufferers; and not less patient when he was “led as a lamb to the slaughter,” than when he experienced the first trial in his great work.

Patience - “A calm temper, which suffers evils without murmuring or discontent” (Webster).

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
A blessed change takes place in the sinner's state, when he becomes a true believer, whatever he has been. Being justified by faith he has peace with God. The holy, righteous God, cannot be at peace with a sinner, while under the guilt of sin. Justification takes away the guilt, and so makes way for peace. This is through our Lord Jesus Christ; through him as the great Peace-maker, the Mediator between God and man. The saints' happy state is a state of grace. Into this grace we are brought, which teaches that we were not born in this state. We could not have got into it of ourselves, but we are led into it, as pardoned offenders. Therein we stand, a posture that denotes perseverance; we stand firm and safe, upheld by the power of the enemy. And those who have hope for the glory of God hereafter, have enough to rejoice in now. Tribulation worketh patience, not in and of itself, but the powerful grace of God working in and with the tribulation. Patient sufferers have most of the Divine consolations, which abound as afflictions abound. It works needful experience of ourselves. This hope will not disappoint, because it is sealed with the Holy Spirit as a Spirit of love. It is the gracious work of the blessed Spirit to shed abroad the love of God in the hearts of all the saints. A right sense of God's love to us, will make us not ashamed, either of our hope, or of our sufferings for him.
Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, 509-10

Christ is our example. Are the ministers of Christ tempted and fiercely buffeted by Satan? so also was He who knew no sin. He turned to His Father in these hours of distress. He came to earth that He might provide a way whereby we could find grace and strength to help in every time of need, by following His example in frequent, earnest prayer. If the ministers of Christ will imitate this pattern, they will be imbued with His spirit, and angels will minister unto them. 2T 509.1

Angels ministered to Jesus, yet their presence did not make His life one of ease and freedom from severe conflict and fierce temptations. He was tempted in all points like as we are, yet without sin. If ministers, while engaged in the work which the Master has appointed them to do, have trials and perplexities and temptations, should they be discouraged, when they know that there is One who has endured all these before them? Should they cast away their confidence because they do not realize all that they expect from their labors? Christ labored earnestly for His own nation; but His efforts were despised by the very ones He came to save, and they put to death Him who came to give them life. 2T 509.2

There is a sufficient number of ministers, but a great lack of laborers. Laborers, co-workers with God, have a sense of the sacredness of the work and of the severe conflicts they must meet in order to carry it forward successfully. Laborers will not faint and despond in view of the labor, arduous though it may be. In the Epistle to the Romans Paul says: “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope: and hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” In Him are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. We are without excuse if we fail to avail ourselves of the ample provisions made for us that we might be wanting in nothing. Shrinking from hardships, complaining under tribulation, makes the servants of God weak and inefficient in bearing responsibilities and burdens. 2T 509.3

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Ellen G. White
The Upward Look, 282.4

We learn a lesson in these trials.... “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope: and hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us” (Romans 5:1-5). But many are inclined to think, as these temptations fall upon us, that we must give up in discouragement, that we have no power to overcome. This is unbelief. We become weak because we fall under temptation and sin against God with our lips in talking discouragements and doubts, and talk on the off side and not on the side of hope and faith. You know Christ has had all these temptations. He was tempted in all points as we are. Christ says: “For the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me” (John 14:30).... UL 282.4

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Ellen G. White
Mind, Character, and Personality, vol. 2, 803.4

Control the Feelings—We rejoice in hope, not in feeling. In the hope of the glory of God we know that tribulation worketh patience and experience hope. What does it mean? If we do not feel just as we want to, are we to fly into impatience, speaking those words that show that we have the attributes of Satan? We cannot afford to speak a harsh word or an unkind word, because we are standing right in view of the heavenly intelligences and we are fighting the battle with all the heavenly universe looking upon us; and how we grieve the heart of God when we deny Him in any way! The marks of the crucifixion in the hands of Christ show that He has graven us upon the palms of His hands.—Manuscript 16, 1894. 2MCP 803.4

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Ellen G. White
Our High Calling, 131.3

God will be to us everything we will let Him be. Our languid, half-hearted prayers will not bring us returns from heaven. Oh, we need to press our petitions! Ask in faith, wait in faith, receive in faith, rejoice in hope, for everyone that seeketh findeth. Be in earnest in the matter. Seek God with all the heart. People put soul and earnestness into everything they undertake in temporal things, until their efforts are crowned with success. With intense earnestness learn the trade of seeking the rich blessings that God has promised, and with persevering, determined effort you shall have His light and His truth and His rich grace. OHC 131.3

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, 195

The desire of our Lord is that we should be watching, so that when He cometh and knocketh we may open to Him immediately. A blessing is pronounced upon those servants whom He finds watching. “He shall gird Himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them.” Who among us in these last days will be thus specially honored by the Master of assemblies? Are we prepared without delay to open to Him immediately and welcome Him in? Watch, watch, watch. Nearly all have ceased their watching and waiting; we are not ready to open to Him immediately. The love of the world has so occupied our thoughts that our eyes are not turned upward, but downward to the earth. We are hurrying about, engaging with zeal and earnestness in different enterprises, but God is forgotten, and the heavenly treasure is not valued. We are not in a waiting, watching position. The love of the world and the deceitfulness of riches eclipse our faith, and we do not long for, and love, the appearing of our Saviour. We try too hard to take care of self ourselves. We are uneasy and greatly lack a firm trust in God. Many worry and work, contrive and plan, fearing they may suffer need. They cannot afford time to pray or to attend religious meetings and, in their care for themselves, leave no chance for God to care for them. And the Lord does not do much for them, for they give Him no opportunity. They do too much for themselves, and believe and trust in God too little. 2T 195.1

The love of the world has a terrible hold upon the people whom the Lord has commanded to watch and pray always, lest coming suddenly He find them sleeping. “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever.” 2T 196.1

I have been shown that God's people who profess to believe present truth are not in a waiting, watching position. They are increasing in riches and are laying up their treasures upon the earth. They are becoming rich in worldly things, but not rich toward God. They do not believe in the shortness of time; they do not believe that the end of all things is at hand, that Christ is at the door. They may profess much faith; but they deceive their own souls, for they will act out all the faith that they really possess. Their works show the character of their faith and testify to those around them that the coming of Christ is not to be in this generation. According to their faith will be their works. Their preparations are being made to remain in this world. They are adding house to house, and land to land, and are citizens of this world. 2T 196.2

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Ellen G. White
Our High Calling, 71.2

Having added patience to temperance, we are then to ascend the ladder of progress and add to patience godliness. This is the very outgrowth of patience. Said the apostle Paul, “We glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope”.... Romans 5:3, 4. OHC 71.2

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Ellen G. White
This Day With God, 306

We glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience, and experience, hope. Romans 5:3, 4. TDG 306.1

The experience gained in the furnace of trial and affliction is worth more than the inconvenience and painful experience it all costs. The prayers you offered in your loneliness, in your weariness and trial, God answered as you could bear it. You did not have clear and correct views of your brethren, neither did you see yourself in a correct light. But in the providence of God, He has been at work to answer the prayers you have offered in your distress in a way to save you and glorify His own name. TDG 306.2

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, 514-5

No greater evidence need be asked that a person is at a great distance from Jesus, and living in neglect of secret prayer, neglecting personal piety, than the fact that he thus talks doubts and unbelief because his surroundings are not favorable. Such persons have not the pure, true, undefiled religion of Christ. They have a spurious article which the refining process will utterly consume as dross. As soon as God proves them, and tests their faith, they waver, they stand feebly, swaying first one way, then the other. They have not the genuine article that Paul possessed, that could glory in tribulation because “tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope: and hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts.” They have a religion of circumstance. If all around them are strong in faith and courage in the ultimate success of the third angel's message, and no special influence is brought to bear against them, they then appear to have some faith. But as soon as adversity seems to come upon the cause, and the work drags heavily, and the help of everyone is needed, these poor souls, though they may be professed ministers of the gospel, expect everything to come to nought. These hinder instead of helping. 2T 514.1

If apostasy arises, and rebellion is manifested, you do not hear them say, in words of encouragement and lofty cheer: Brethren, faint not; be of good courage. “Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are His.” Men who are thus affected by circumstances should remain at their homes and employ their physical and mental strength in a less responsible position where they will not be liable to meet such strong opposition. If everything moves smoothly, they may pass for very good, devotional men. But these are not the ones whom the Master will send to do His work, for this is opposed by those who are emissaries of Satan. Satan also, and his host of evil angels, will be arrayed against them. God has made provision for the men whom He has called to do His work, that they may come off conquerors in every contest. Those who follow His directions will never meet with defeat. 2T 515.1

The Lord, speaking through Paul, Ephesians 6:10-18, tells us how to fortify ourselves against Satan and his emissaries: “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.” 2T 515.2

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 3, 416-7

God hears every sincere prayer. He would place you in connection with His work that He might bring you more directly to the light. And unless you should seal your vision against evidence and light you would be persuaded that if you were more distrustful of yourself and less distrustful of your brethren you would be more prosperous in God. It is God who has led you through strait places. He had a purpose in this, that tribulation might work in you patience, and patience experience, and experience hope. He permitted trials to come upon you, that, through them, you might experience the peaceable fruits of righteousness. 3T 416.1

Peter denied the Man of Sorrows in His acquaintance with grief in the hour of His humiliation. But he afterward repented and was reconverted. He had true contrition of soul and gave himself afresh to his Saviour. With blinding tears he makes his way to the solitudes of the Garden of Gethsemane and there prostrates himself where he saw his Saviour's prostrate form when the bloody sweat was forced from His pores by His great agony. Peter remembers with remorse that he was asleep when Jesus prayed during those fearful hours. His proud heart breaks, and penitential tears moisten the sods so recently stained with the bloody sweat drops of God's dear Son. He left that garden a converted man. He was ready then to pity the tempted. He was humbled and could sympathize with the weak and erring. He could caution and warn the presumptuous, and was fully fitted to strengthen his brethren. 3T 416.2

God led you through affliction and trials that you might have more perfect trust and confidence in Him, and that you might think less of your own judgment. You can bear adversity better than prosperity. The all-seeing eye of Jehovah detected in you much dross that you considered gold and too valuable to throw away. The enemy's power over you had at times been direct and very strong. The delusions of spiritualism had entangled your faith, perverted your judgment, and confused your experience. God in His providence would try you, to purify you, as the sons of Levi, that you might offer to Him an offering in righteousness. 3T 416.3

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Ellen G. White
That I May Know Him, 279.2

The Word does not say that we are to count it all joy when we fall under temptation, but when we fall into temptation. It is not necessary to fall under temptation, for temptation comes upon us for the trying of our faith. And the trying of our faith worketh patience, not fretfulness and murmuring. If we put our trust in Jesus, He will keep us at all times, and will be our strength and shield. We are to learn valuable lessons from our trials. Paul says, “We glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope ...” (Romans 5:3-5). TMK 279.2

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Ellen G. White
This Day With God, 85.2

How many of God's gifts have been misused, because those to whom they were given did not have the fervor of the love of Christ in the soul. There is great need of each one doing his best. There are those who would have used wisely the talents given them, if they had been left to struggle and depend on their capabilities. But they became the possessors of means, and they lost the incentive to cultivate their talents, and make all possible of themselves by communicating what they had. An abundance of money has spoiled them for faithfully fulfilling their stewardship. TDG 85.2

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