I often read several devotions, bible verses and commentaries on the same subject because I’m seeking God’s guidance. Here I’m putting several of these together on tribulation and the good news God shares with us on the subject.
Many people long for peace, and a few minutes of silence may soothe our minds. But the Bible teaches that real peace—peace with God—comes from His Son. The apostle Paul said, “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom. 5:1). Without Christ, we are enemies of God because of our sin. Thankfully, accepting Jesus’ sacrifice reconciles us to God and ends the hostility that existed between us (Col. 1:19-21). He now sees us as Christ presents us—“holy, and blameless, and above reproach” (v. 22).
The fine print reads like, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23). And, “The greatest among you will be your servant.” (Matthew 23:11). In the Upper Room, with the cross looming on the horizon, Jesus talked with the disciples about the fine print. And He told the disciples what to expect so they wouldn’t be overwhelmed when they faced difficulty. But—and this is the part you have to remember—He added, “But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Prefacing what He said about our facing tribulation or difficulty, Jesus told them that He was telling them all of this so they would have peace and not be disturbed when it happened.
We must accustom ourselves to all instances of self-denial and patience, Luke 9:23. This is the best preparative for martyrdom. We must live a life of self-denial, mortification, and contempt of the world; we must not indulge our ease and appetite, for then it will be hard to bear toil, and weariness, and want, for Christ. We are daily subject to affliction, and we must accommodate ourselves to it, and acquiesce in the will of God in it, and must learn to endure hardship. We frequently meet with crosses in the way of duty; and, though we must not pull them upon our own heads, yet, when they are laid for us, we must take them up, carry them after Christ, and make the best of them. – Matthew Henry’s Commentary
This is part of living in a broken world, but you must also hold onto the promises of Jesus which allow you to walk through the darkness. “I will never leave you or forsake you,” He promised, and He will walk with you through the valley to the door of His eternal home in heaven.
Never forget that when He warned us of difficulty, He added, “Be of good cheer (or, take heart), I have overcome the world.” Though we would prefer not facing the tribulation and difficulty Jesus talked about, it’s the only way we learn how great is His strength and help in facing the dark hours of the soul.