“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.”
~ John 16:33
A maturing, genuine faith is one that begins to see the goodness of God in the midst of very difficult trials (“tribulations”) in life. Yes, Jesus said that He has given us His peace, but His peace is not based upon our circumstances. In fact, He wants us to learn that His peace goes beyond our circumstances… He said that He has already overcome them.
So why do we go through tough times? It is simple, actually. It is to test the genuineness of our faith, and to mature our faith from a seedling to a full grown tree of life in Christ. (See James 1 for further study).
The word “tribulation” in this passage translates as “compressing a material that is free and unshackled or unfettered. In Christ we have been set free, yet in our freedom we will encounter seasons (and sometimes a life-long season) of compressing experiences. But, don’t be dismayed. These things will not destroy you or your faith. Just don’t give up, my friend.
So you think your trials are bigger than others? You think you are being Divinely paid-back for your sins? No, you are being blessed. Yes, BLESSED! Your faith is being challenged and built and nurtured to a greater degree than many others. Your tribulations experienced in this world are tribulations of this world, but Christ in His incredible love and wisdom is using this world’s tribulations (which He has already demonstrated His victory over) to build you into a conquering, faith-filled, God-loving, warrior-child of God.
Jesus teaches us that we should pick up our cross and follow Him. I encourage you to be courageous and to fall in love with your cross, not for the pain it brings, but for the maturity it is bringing into your life. (See my article on Picking up Your Cross here).
See you at the altar of prayer in the Presence of Christ, my friend, and my fellow “tribulation-er”.