We Will Have Tribulation

Jesus said “These Things”
John 16:33 ESV

Jesus Christ said this: “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

So, what are “these things” he said to them?

He told them that if the world hated them they were to know that it hated him first. If they were of the world, the world would have loved them as its own. But because they were not of the world, because Jesus chose them out of the world, therefore the world hated them, and us, too.

He went on to tell them that “they” would put them out of the synagogues. So, who were “they”? “They” were the religious rulers, and in our case they are pastors and elders of church fellowships. We will be put out of church fellowships when we wholeheartedly follow our Lord Jesus in obedience.

Why? Because so many of them are flesh driven and they deny the working of the Holy Spirit. Their teachings are much of human origin, although they will quote the Scriptures. But so many of the Scriptures are being taken out of context and are being taught outside their true meaning.

Then, he went on to tell them that he was going to be leaving them, but that he would send them the Holy Spirit, and he did. And He is living within those of us who believe on Jesus Christ with God-given faith, who have died with Christ to sin, and who are living to God and to his righteousness.

Lastly, in this particular context of John 16, he told them that the hour was coming, and indeed it had come, when they would be scattered, each to his own home, and that they would leave him alone, which is what they did when he was arrested and was put on trial as though he was a criminal.

Of all his disciples, I think John was the only one who was with him when he was hung on a cross to die for our sins. So, Jesus was largely abandoned by his closest companions when he was put to death on that cross.

And then (in this discourse with his disciples) he said, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

His Purpose for Me
Psalms 138:7-8 ESV

“Though I walk in the midst of trouble,
you preserve my life;
you stretch out your hand against the wrath of my enemies,
and your right hand delivers me.
The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me;
your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever.
Do not forsake the work of your hands.”

In the Midst of Trouble

So, based off what Jesus told his disciples, what kind of trouble might we, as followers of Jesus Christ, be facing today? What trouble might we be walking in the midst of? And who are our enemies today?

We will be hated by the people of the world. But who hated Jesus? Who were the ones who hounded him and who tried to trip him up with every word, who kept falsely accusing him of evil, when he did no wrong? Who plotted his death and then arranged for it to be carried out?

These were not the Gentiles, i.e., the non-believers in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Father, Son – Jesus Christ – and Holy Spirit). They were those who were called God’s people, and they were the religious rulers and teachers of the Scriptures in the temple of God.

So, don’t be surprised if you are hated by some of those who are professing faith in Jesus Christ, and by pastors and elders of church congregations. For, if you follow Jesus Christ in full submission to his will for your life, you are going to ruffle some feathers. They won’t like you.

And you will be asked to leave some church fellowships if you stand on the truth of God’s word and if you do not compromise your faith in order to appease human flesh and to attract the people of the world to the “church.” They will gladly volunteer to help you find someplace else where you will be a “better fit.” But you are not to “fit” with this world.

And you may be tempted to desert the Christian faith and Jesus Christ who saved you because it is “too hard.” You may even blame God for the troubles you are going through because they came as a direct result of you following him in obedience, doing what he said to do. For, it can be lonely and disheartening, at times, being opposed for doing what is right.

But Jesus warned us ahead of time that in this world, even among those who call themselves the people of God, we will have tribulation, we will be hated, we will be accused falsely of what we did not do, and we may even be invited to leave some church fellowships because we stand on the truth of God’s word, and we refuse to compromise with the world.

But Take Heart

If we are following Jesus Christ with our lives, in submission to him as Lord, having died with him to sin, and we are dying to sin daily, and if we are walking in obedience to his commands, empowered by the Spirit of God, then in the midst of the trouble we face for our walks of faith, we can be assured that our Lord is with us, and that he will carry us through it all.

He may not physically deliver us from our troubles, though sometimes he does, although not always immediately or as soon as we would hope. But he will walk with us through them, and he will guide us in what to do, and he will show us the way we should go, and he will use us for his glory and praise to minister his love and grace to others.

And he will give us the grace to endure unjust suffering at the hands of those who treat us as though they are our enemies. And he will help us to love them, in return, and to pray for them, and to do good to them. And he will hold us in his loving arms and comfort us with his love when we are going through such difficult times as this.

And through it all, he will fulfill his purpose for our lives. For, part of our preparation for being who he wants us to be and doing what he has called us to do is suffering for the sake of righteousness. So, what others (and Satan) may mean for evil against us, God uses in our lives for our good.

So, when we trust him with our circumstances, and we believe in his sovereignty over our lives, and when we accept that suffering has a purpose, and that ultimately it is for our good, we can be at peace even in the midst of trouble, because we know that our Lord is with us, he is working it all out for our good, and he has overcome the world.

When I Go Home

By G. M. Eldridge

“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes…” Revelation 21:4

In the moment He appears
And the light from heaven shines,
I’ll forget ev’ry fear,
Ev’ry pain I’ll leave behind.
Then I’ll see Him as He is
And I’ll know Him as I’m known.
Ev’ry tear wiped away when I go home.

Ever present is the tho’t
That a moment waits for me
When unworthy as I am,
His glory I will see.
I will empty all my praise
Before my Father’s throne.
Ev’ry tear wiped away when I go home.

If the trial I endure,
And your presence I can’t find,
Be near me, Lord, I pray,
Bring back unto my mind
That your promises are firm
And I’m never on my own.
Ev’ry tear wiped away when I go home.

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