Tribulation Is A Promise From Jesus

 

servus christi, tribulation

John 16:33

 

In an age of Christendom that has been flooded with self-help, positive affirmations, word of faith, dominion theology and the like, it can be easy to forget that Jesus promised us tribulation and that this world is not your home. For all intents and purposes, many have put their energies into improving their earthly state rather than their eternal state, seemingly oblivious to the fact that Jesus made it abundantly clear that His kingdom was not of this world (John 18:36). While no saint of God relishes tribulation or hardship, the one that does not anticipate it is sorely “mistaken not knowing the Scriptures” (Matthew 22:29). The promises of Christ are as sure as sure can be; more sure than gravity or Newton’s laws of motion. Jesus promised eternal life to all who would come to Him by faith. And Jesus also PROMISED tribulation while in this world.

Tribulation: “thlipsis” in Greek, comes from a root word that describes grapes being pressed and crushed, and can also describe the “anguish” that accompanies child birth. It is affliction and distress; burden and trouble. It is the unpleasant and painful things of life in varying forms. Do you feel as though you’re being pressed and crushed? Do not be surprised. Jesus promised this tribulation while we are in the world.

We know that God “sends rain on the just and the unjust” (Matthew 5:45) but we sometimes forget that believers suffer tribulation, sometimes along with the world. “Coffee mug Christianity” is largely responsible for this deluded notion. This is primarily relegated to our wealthy western world, where our abundance clouds reality until we’re smacked in the face with a sobering dose of discomfort. Every out of context verse we can scavenge, we are all too happy to apply to ourselves in every scenario. But when it comes to easily discernible verses that pertain to our discomfort, yes even our anguish, we wish to turn the page and claim promises of God’s plan for our deliverance out of every hardship as if we are in a category above the apostles or prophets. God help us! Jesus stated clearly, “In the world you will have tribulation…” (John 16:33). Before we immediately seek the alleviation, we must grasp this and embrace this. You read that correctly. Embrace it.

Do you think you are more than a prophet? Yes, you! Do you think you are the greatest man or woman ever born of women? Few would dare to say that out loud and yet many betray a belief somewhere thereabout. Jesus only described one person in these terms and it was John the Baptist. This was a man filled with the Holy Spirit from the womb and tasked with paving the way for the Messiah. Jesus called Him “more than a prophet”. Let that sink in. Guess what Jesus didn’t do for John? He didn’t deliver him from suffering in prison before having his head chopped off. Jesus commissioned His apostles with the task of making disciples of all nations and indeed, they turned the world upside down. Guess what Jesus didn’t do for them? He didn’t spare them from worldly tribulation and persecution. In fact, before Paul and Barnabas were ever sent out on their missionary journeys, Jesus said this concerning Paul, “… I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name’s sake.” (Acts 9:16). Jesus spoke of the death by which Peter would glorify God. He told His disciples about the extreme suffering and hardship they would endure, being persecuted from one city to the next, and guess what? History is replete with tribulation and persecution in every age. Thumb through Foxe’s Book of Martyrs when you have a moment. Whether persecution or common tribulation, God’s saints have arguably been appointed the worst of it. While there are many accounts of God’s mighty deliverance in subduing kingdoms and delivering His people from oppressors, there is another side to that coin:

others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented— (Hebrews 11:35-36)

When the prospect of such things as these come, fanciful notions of a pretribulational rapture of the saints is welcomed as if those in the last days should be completely spared what every saint of every other age was not. When clear promises of tribulation and persecution are in black and white ink, from the lips of Jesus Himself, how is it that we read a means of escape into the bible that is simply nowhere to be found? While the intention of this article isn’t to cover the intricacies of the timing of the rapture, suffice it to say that if you think you’re going to be completely spared from tribulation, you make Jesus a liar. You WILL have tribulation in this world and those who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. Not many people would buy a coffee mug with John 16:33 on it, but it is as much a promise from Jesus as anything else.

Many well meaning professors of Christ have had their faith shipwrecked because they did not anticipate tribulation and persecution (Mark 4:17). The tribulation we are spared from is not in this world but in another. In His kingdom (which is not of this world) we will have no tribulation. We are admonished as “sojourners and pilgrims” in this world, because we need to be constantly mindful that this world is not our home (2 Peter 2:11). So, when (not if) tribulation comes to you as a believer in Jesus, regard it as confirmation of the promise of Jesus and know that it is for your good and God’s glory as He works all things together for good to those who love Him and are the called according to His purposes. Tribulation, while never pleasant, is ultimately a gift from God working something good in you that will make your shouts of praise to Him in glory all the louder. These afflictions are only momentary and compared with what awaits us in eternity, they are very light. Expect tribulation; embrace tribulation and extol the name of Jesus when tribulation comes. Therefore, “… 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.” (Romans 5:3-5).

 

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Joshua Chavez

A slave of Christ. My name is Joshua Chavez.

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12 Responses

  1. Anitha says:

    Great encouragement, Josh – I needed this today! May God bless you, brother–I’m praying….

  2. Janice Plotz says:

    God bless you Josh, this message is so relevant in these times. I read your testimony on Google, could you please put it on FB? It is truly uplifting.. Praying for you and Jacob Son, stay in Jesus, we need you, and may He keep you safe..

  3. Andrew Nuwagaba says:

    Thank you for your encouragement. This was just what I needed in these last days.

  4. John Shaphat says:

    Encouraging Word of Truth for Christ’s Christian Pilgrims who obediently take up their daily cross and flee out of Socialism’s Secured global City of Destruction!

  5. Rebecca says:

    Thank you Joshua,I think on this so much these days.This needs to be at the forefront of every true believer’s mind,as we head farther in to the wickedness of these last days.
    I’ve been hoping you wouldn’t forget about sharing here,because I really don’t care to be on Facebook anymore.
    Your encouragement is always a blessing,and I pray for you often.
    God bless,
    Rebecca

  6. Claudia Acosta says:

    Thank you for the Word of truth it’s always encouraging to read your articles that are always speak of the whole counsel of God. I pray for you Joshua Chavez and the ministry that our Lord Jesus has given you to speak truth even if it’s not popular. May God bless you and keep you. Glory to the One and only out Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

  7. Linda Callaghan says:

    Amen. So encouraging. Thank you Joshua – all glory to God.

    …”fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart” Hebrews 12:2-3 (The whole chapter is an encouragement).

    The Lord bless you Joshua, keep fighting the good fight of faith.

    Linda

  8. Rachel says:

    Amen. A good word, thank you. We will have tribulation in this world, but praise God, Yeshua has overcome the world! The Lamb will overcome them because He is King of kings and Lord of lords.

  9. Bobbie says:

    So, needed to read this; a friend and i were talking about this very conversation the other day and we talked how church building/leaders didn’t teach on suffering of Jesus Christ but wrong gospel of prosperity. See so much New Age has entered the church. Thank you for this straight and narrow message Matthew 7:13-14! Revelations 21:all.

  10. Rose Luke says:

    Shalom Josh, I began to listen to JD on terminating you. They do not like the fact, that you are not in a church, with your ministry. They follow Calvin, not Christ! They follow and believe the commandments of men and embrace Calvin followers, not Christ! They hate you for not following them. They hate the truth you speak, against false teachers/ their heresies…because it exposes them as well. They are the accusers of the brethren!! Be encouraged Josh! Gods true believers KNOW who speaks the truth and exposes the lies. Be encouraged!

  11. John David Taggart says:

    You are a brand in the fire and those you touch with it either rebel or are convicted. You are blessed of the Lord, and I consider it a privilege and a duty to consider what you say most catefully. I have had my eyes opened with an affirmation that comes of the Holy Spirit. Keep up the goid work Josh!!! ; )

  12. Lucia.L says:

    Dear Joshua Chevaz,
    Recently on Wretched Todd covered about if Christian should be vaccinated or not. On there he left out the fact that this nano bug technology used by vaccine makers actually use DNA from Fetus. So basically their vaccine is part of Fetus DNA lab made babies or from aborted Fetus. So could you please investigate this vaccine argument so called Christian leaders just say it like oh please do not be harsh on other Christian for taking it or not. Because any medication based on Lab made Fetus cell or DNA is just not right.

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