Glory in Tribulation!
Have you noticed that the tension resulting from being in and not of this world is increasing? I talk with a lot of people and many are going through some really hard things. We may not be of this world but we are still in it. Life is hard. Really hard. Many are suffering as a result of living in a world that is becoming more and more rebellious against God. We need wisdom and discernment from Holy Spirit every day to know how to respond to everything going on around us. As it becomes more and more challenging to live in this world and as trials and tribulations increase, there is hope for those of us who belong to Jesus.
Tribulation is pressure, oppression, stress, anguish, adversity, affliction and crushing, squashing, squeezing and distress. It is putting a lot of pressure on that which is free and unrestrained. The word is used of crushing grapes or olives in a press.
We need to continue to pray for one another and encourage one another with truth in the Word! So I want to encourage you with what the Word says about trials and tribulations. What are some of the things the Lord is doing in His people as He continues to be with us through tribulations? How do we continue to persevere? What do we have to look forward to?
Before I go on, I want to encourage you. As I hear from followers of Jesus about the tribulations they are going through, I am also hearing from some of these same people that they are turning to Jesus, trusting Him alone, rejoicing in the trials because they know that God is doing a work in them through the trials. This causes them to not give up, press in in prayer, praise God and give Him the glory! Hallelujah!
I also want to encourage you to read the last two blog entries from the blog, ‘Matsa Moments’, called ‘Counted Worthy’ and ‘Relief, Retribution and Revelation’. These are also on the Freedom House Church & Healing Centre website.
- Back to what the Word says about trials and tribulations J
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. (Ja 1:2-4 NKJV)
Followers of Jesus are not excluded from difficulties. (Jn 15:20; 2 Ti 3:12; 1 Peter 4:12-14) The proper attitude in meeting adversity is to count it all joy, which is not an emotional reaction but deliberately seeing the situation from God’s perspective. We are to view trials as opportunities to test our faith, develop patience (perseverance) and grow more spiritually mature.
Therefore, having been justified by faith,we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance,character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. (Ro 5:1-5 NKJV)
The Word says that we glory in tribulations knowing that tribulations produce perseverance which produces character. Character is produced and displayed when we are under trial. I’m sure you will agree that it is in times of trial when it becomes evident how much of the character of Christ has been developed in us (divine nature) and how much of the old man (sinful nature) is still there that needs to be renewed by Holy Spirit. Whose character do you display when under trial? We must take on the character of Jesus so that we can give words of Spirit and life like Jesus did. (Mt 15:18-20; Eph 4:17-24; Jn 6:63)
In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls. (1 Peter 1:6-9)
We greatly rejoice even though we are being grieved by various trials. Remember that as you endure suffering, your faith is being refined as with fire. Value your faith more than gold. Look toward the coming of Jesus, so that your faith, having been tested, will result in praise, honor, and glory to Jesus.
So, we are to count it joy, glory in tribulations and greatly rejoice when we experience trials and tribulations. WHAT! How do we do this? Here are some truths and scriptures that may help you. They certainly have helped and continue to help me.
- As we go through tribulations we need to remember to see them from God’s perspective. Remember that they are producing perseverance, character, hope, faith, patience and maturity. WOW! I want and need all of these things.
- Remember what Jesus said about tribulations. These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (Jn 16:33 NKJV) There is tribulation in the world and at the same time peace in Jesus. Peace which surpasses all understanding. (Phil 4:7 NKJV) That is if we keep focused on Jesus and His Word. (Isa 26:3; Phil 4:8-9) Jesus encourages us to be of good cheer. Why? Because He has overcome the world!
- Paul taught that those who belong to the kingdom of God experience trial, suffering, and not always instant victory. (2 Thess 1:5) Triumph and victory characterize the attitude of each citizen of the kingdom of God and Holy Spirit-empowered authority is given to overcome the enemy and see the kingdom come here on earth. (Lk 10:19; Mt 6:10) Yet, God did not promise life without struggle. Victory comes through battle, and triumph follows trial. The Bible teaches that suffering, trial, and human difficulty are unavoidable; but God’s Word also teaches that they may all be overcome. The presence of the King and the power of His Kingdom in our lives make us neither invulnerable nor immune to life’s struggles, but they do bring the promise of victory: provision in need, strength for the day, and healing, comfort, and saving help.
And when they had preached the gospel to that city and made many disciples, they returned to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch,strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying, “We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.” (Acts 14:21-22 NKJV)
- I am part of a women’s bible study and we are studying the book of Daniel. Like Daniel and his three friends, we can go through trials and tribulations if we purpose in our hearts that we will not be corrupted by the world (Dan 1:8 NKJV). With courageous commitment and uncompromising spirits we can decide and declare as Daniel’s three friends that we will worship and serve God alone. We must put our faith and trust in Him alone and STAND!
If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty. But even if He doesn’t, we want to make it clear to you, Your Majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up. (Dan 3:17-18 NLT)
- We need to pray for one another, encourage one another and remind one another of truth. These scriptures have been on my heart lately and I would like to share them with you as a way of encouraging you all.
Then the churches throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and were edified. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, they were multiplied. (Acts 9:31 NKJV)
For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope. (Ro 15:4 NKJV)
Comfort is a calling alongside to help, to give consolation, strengthening presence. Comfort can come to us both by the Holy Spirit and by the Scriptures.
I will end with a prayer for you all.
Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who loved us and by His grace gave us eternal comfort and a wonderful hope, comfort you and strengthen you in every good thing you do and say. (2 Thess 2:16-17 NLT)
“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” (Rev 2:7 NKJV)