Having Patience in Tribulation
When we look around our world today we see many atrocities. Some ask how can God allow such things to happen, others dwell on it thinking of why it happened to them. Even believers have become trapped in their minds feeling condemned, thinking they are being punished for something they may have done. Many of our lives have been filled with tragedies and sadness. Much of the time there is no explanation for why things do occur. Children, women, and even men suffer at the hand of another. Anger, unforgiveness, and hardened hearts have become a part of our normal existence. Our minds have become focused upon where we have been wronged and how others should pay for the disappointments and tribulations of life. It has become harder and harder to see beyond the pain of “self”.
Tribulation, pain and suffering have always been part of a Christian walk. It is just no one really wants to think about it. It’s nice to receive the blessings of the Lord, but there are other parts to our walk which we must look at to be temperate in the Word. Even Jesus tells us: John 16:33, “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” He does not tell us as Christians our life will be easy and perfect, instead He teaches we will have trying of our faith. In Acts, Paul exhorts us to continue in the faith tribulation is part of entering into the Kingdom of God. [Acts 14:22] ...exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God. Romans begins by telling us we have the peace through Jesus, being justified by faith. This peace will carry us through tribulation which will bring forth the fruit of patience. When patience has her perfect work, we will be entire, wanting for nothing. By the grace found in Jesus Christ we must stand upon His promise to overcome. Paul even exhorts us to glory in tribulation, knowing we will become more like our Savior because of it. [Rom 5:1-3] 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.”
When we see the scripture promises spiritual growth as we endure hardship, it becomes easier to overcome. As we look at another biblical reason for the things that we suffer it brings more light to the subject. We are told the greatest form of love is to lay down our lives for our friends. [John 15:13] Second Corinthians begins with a message of one way we can do this. [2 Cor 1:3-7] Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;
Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ. And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation. And our hope of you is stedfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation.” Simply put, everything we endure in our lives is meant to be used to help others. The consolation or comfort given by God to us as we overcome is shared with others as they endure the same suffering in their lives. It is the most selfless form of love to allow the Lord to bring us through trials so that we may comfort others in their walk. This is the ministry of Jesus, allowing Himself to suffer for us. As believers we are commanded to become as our Master, not focusing upon the injustices done to each of us. Instead, looking how we may help others to overcome as we have.
Now this does not mean as Christians we should walk in self abasement and torment. Instead it should change our focus as we endure hardships in our lives. Knowing we will both grow in our own spiritual walk and help others with theirs. As we press on toward the high calling of Jesus, we will all come into the unity of faith. Bearing one anothers burdens, thereby fulfilling the law of Christ.
In HIS Service