YOU WILL HAVE TRIBULATION; BUT BE OF GOOD CHEER!
(JR Feb 2003)
YOU HAVE TRIBULATION!
For God’s children this is a period of tribulation! We are living in troubled times. Agonizing things will happen in future in countries. We will hear only shocking and frightening news, because the end of the world and the second coming of Jesus is at hand. Men will see many signs of His coming as predicted by Jesus.“For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences and earth quakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. Then they will deliver you upto tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name~&~s” We will see these words of Jesus (Matt. 24:7-9 NKJV) being fulfilled now.
Remember the words of Jesus, “And you will hear of wars and rumours of wars. See that you are not troubled for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.” (Matt. 2:6 NKJV) The children of God will be handed over to suffer affliction and tribulation because they are followers of Jesus. Witnesses of Christ will be afflicted! You will be tortured for preaching the gospel! Some may even die as martyrs! In all places, your family, living quarters, places of work and business, you will have trouble because you follow Jesus! People will rise against you for no reason! Ministry can no more be smooth and easy!
We need not be afraid of all these troubles for Jesus will be with us and guide us. Children of God should commit themselves to suffering for Christ. Mostly we want to run away from troubles. We want a life free of trials and tribulations. Without suffering you cannot live a true Christian life! Following Jesus is not a walk on a bed of roses but a rough and ragged path! If we are to be joyful in trials and trouble, we should commit ourselves to suffering.
When I came to ministry I thought people would encourage me because I came from a Hindu family. But the opposite happened. I was falsely accused by Christians of saying what I said not and of doing what I did not and spread false rumours about me. My heart was broken when I heard this. One night I was in tears in His presence and cried, “Lord I can’t bear the false rumours about me. Take away my ministry and leave me. I will earn my livelihood and do ministry in my spare time. Lord Jesus met me that day spoke to me and comforted me.
“Look at me. When I was doing
ministry I was accused by a group of people. I was falsely accused. I carried
out my ministry in the midst of humiliations and false accusations. Those who
opposed me thought that they were serving God by rising against me. You also
must follow Me bearing the cross daily. Do not forget that I stand before you
and all the reproaches must pass through me only to reach you.” Thus the Lord
encouraged me and strengthened me. That day I committed myself to suffering for
Jesus. I have been despised, reproached humiliated and falsely accused in my 25
years of ministry. Nothing affected me. I consider it a great privilege to
suffer tribulations and reproaches for my Lord Jesus who suffered for me.” Remember the words of Apostle Paul...
“I go bound in the spirit to Jerusalem not knowing the things that will happen to me there, except that the Holy spirit testifies in every city saying that chains and tribulations await me. But none of these things move me, nor do I count my life dear to myself so that I may finish the race with joy and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.” (Acts 20:22-24 NKJV)
Sufferings are not for the
servants of the Lord alone but for all children of God. “In this you greatly
rejoice through now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by
various trials.” (I Pet. 1:6 nkjv) “We must through many tribulations
enter the kingdom of God.” (Acts 14:22) “... all who desire to live godly in
Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.” (II Tim. 3:12) Remember these words.
Jesus never promised that you will not have suffering or persecution if you
follow Me. On the other hand Jesus said, “You will have tribulations in this
world” Remember these words of Jesus and commit yourselves to persecution and
suffering for Him.
BE OF GOOD CHEER !
Many become disheartened during trials. Some backslide saying “what gain is there in following Jesus?” “Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you part take of Christ’ sufferings that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.” (I Peter 4:12,13 NKJV)
How much Jesus had to suffer to save us so that we may inherit heaven! People spat on His space. He was beaten and insulted! His garments were torn and He was falsely accused and humiliated! What a joy it is to suffer for one who suffered all these patiently for me! Rejoice for being parttakers of His sufferings!
Do not be weary of trials and tribulations. “If you are reproached for the name of Christ blessed are you for the spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed but on your part He is glorified. Yet if any one suffers as a Christian let him not be ashamed but let him glorify God in this matter.” (I Peter 4:14, 16 NKJV) Rejoice when you suffer trials and tribulations. Praise the Lord for the troubles you suffer for the sake of Christ. It is a blessed experience suffering for the Lord.
In the first century Nero persecuted the Christians very much. When persecuted with various tortures, they glorified the Lord saying, it is a great privilege to suffer for Christ who suffered for our sake on the cross.” While they were beheaded they glorified the Lord gladly shouting “it is our bounded duty to die for Jesus who died for us. Even if we die, we will be in Heaven with our Jesus.”
At the peak of torture, whole
Christian families were put to lions in an arena, the lions pounced on the
Christians and tore their bodies. The Romans enjoyed this scene. But in the
midst of this suffering also they died singing and glorifying the Lord. God’s
people were not afraid of death or troubled by the sufferings. They gladly
suffered torture for Christ’s sake. Nero could not comprehend this and was
confused. They believed the faithful saying that, “The sufferings of the
present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be
revealed in us.” (Rom. 8:18)
And, “If we endure we shall also reign with Him.” (II Tim. 2:12)
We must also count it a blessing to suffer for Christ. I heard a sister witnessing in a meeting thus, “I was born in a family which did not know Christ. Jesus met me and made me His child. From that very day I began to suffer trials and tribulations. But Christian life is sweet only in the midst of troubles. If I do not have any trouble for a week, I would ask the Lord for troubles.” I praised the Lord for the sister who tasted the blessing of suffering for Christ.
“Who shall separate us from
the love of Christ? Shall tribulation or distress or persecution of famine or
nakedness or peril or sword? Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors
through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor
angels, nor principalities nor power, nor things present nor things to come, nor
height nor depth, nor any other created thing shall be able to separate us from
the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom. 8:35, 37-39 NKJV)
Let the experience of the godly man apostle Paul be our experience also.
YOU WILL BE HONOURED!
Peter began to say to Jesus, “See, we have left all and followed you.” So Jesus answered and said, “Assuredly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands for My sake and the gospel’s, who shall not receive hundred fold now in this time-houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands with persecutions-and in the age to come, eternal life.” (Mark 10:28-30)
We will be persecuted while following Jesus in this earth. We may have to lose some things. But if we suffer persecution faithfully, the Lord will honour us and bless us now and in eternity. You will enjoy a hundred fold blessing now and here and live eternally with Jesus in heaven. When I started my ministry, my relatives would come to our house and tell my parents, “Alright, Jesus has healed him. He should find a job to support the family. Why does he go about preaching in all towns and villages?” I was reproached and constrained because of my ministry. If there was some problem in our family immediately our neighbours would say that our family was suffering because I became a Christian and follow Jesus.
But those who belittled me came to me for prayers. Not only that but God has given me children of God through out this world who love me. God has raised many brothers, sisters, fathers and mothers who love me. This is a God given blessing. Even if I die, I have the assurance that I will live with Jesus in eternal gladness. This is the greatest blessing God gives us. “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge will give to me on that Day and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.” (II Tim. 4:7,8 NKJV)
Assured of the honour in heaven that awaited him, apostle Paul suffered persecution and tribulations for the Lord. Let this be your experience also. Praise the Lord for the troubles you suffer for the sake of Christ. Be of good cheer in tribulations. You will have a blessed end. With this faith say this prayer.
I praise you for the troubles I suffer for the sake of Jesus Christ. Thank you for the reproaches and shame.
Thank you for strengthening me to bear the trials, troubles and reproaches.
I commit myself to suffer troubles and persecution for your sake.
I believe You will honour me in heaven and earth.
I praise You for your honour that awaits me. I pray in the name of Jesus.