John 16:31 – Jesus answered them, Do ye now believe?
John 16:32 – Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me.
John 16:33 – These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
Hello readers, hope you are having a great weekend. I was planning on doing more than just this short blog this weekend, but I have been posting some of my thoughts on Facebook of late, so that unfortunately came at a bit of a cost to this forum. In Australia we have a mandatory vaccination program going on, and people are being forced out of their jobs if they do not comply with the demands of the government. Many people are troubled, as if the last few years had not been troubling enough.
We are experiencing some tribulation. Tribulation is something we would not choose to face if it were up to us I’m sure, but it something that is in store for all believers in this ungodly world. Hopefully some tribulation doesn’t knock you or I out of the race. There are many people running the race who have pulled up, who the going got too tough for to continue. Read the Bible and you will see many times of tribulation for men and women who believed in God and trusted his word. Indeed, the Bible says in Acts 14:22 that “… we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.” Tribulation may not be in my script, but it’s in God’s script for you and me. Yet he tells us to be of good cheer, because he has overcome the world. We are the winners, those of us who believe in the Son of God.
The facts are this. We live in an ungodly, evil and dark world. This world has a god, and that god is Satan. You will never be able to make the world less world. Jesus came to save us out of this world, and our hope lies in the world to come. The kingdom of this world will be Christ’s one day, when the takes rule and possesses the kingdoms of it. That’s when things will be right, but until then, we will remain beset by trials and troubles that come with living in a God and Bible and truth rejecting world. For now, we live in a domain under the dominion of the wicked one. And this world, who’s course is contrary to the God of the Bible, will make sure that we have our fair dose of tribulation before our time here is done. There is nothing good in this world, it is just full of lies, sin, and darkness. So we are treading in unfriendly terrain, the kingdom of God is within us but that light that is in us shines in a dark place. And the darker the times, the more our light should shine. If this world hated Jesus, they will hate you.
We are not the first people to experience some trial and tribulation. Back in Jesus’ day, there was a time of trouble for the disciples. They’d had high hopes for Jesus. They wanted people to know what they knew about him. They wanted people to believe on him as they believed on him. They had designs on him being king and a glorious deliverance and future for the nation, they had it all mapped out. It all could have gone so well couldn’t have it? As Jesus wept over the city and said if thou hadst known the things which belong unto thy peace! If only they’d known and believed whom they instead crucified. And the disciples watched on powerless and helpless as they saw their plans, their ideas, their hopes, their design for the future all falsely accused, stripped, crucified and put to death in front of them. Maybe a bit like your job, everything seems to be nailed to a cross, maybe this tribulation has left all you know and wanted and hoped for ripped up and in tatters. We didn’t plan it, we didn’t chose it, but the lot has been cast into our lap. Often it’s not quite like we wanted it.
But while Jesus’ disciples had the future all mapped out, there was a crucial problem. They hadn’t been listening to Jesus all along! Are we listening to Jesus Christ? May we pray for an ear to hear what God is saying to us. Are we truly listening, as in a listening that turns to faith and belief, a listening where we lay what we hear to heart, that converts our soul and fitly frames how we think and live. The disciples they hadn’t laid to heart what he told them. For he had told them that he was going to be rejected, betrayed, crucified and rise the third day. Their time of trouble and Jesus’ suffering and sacrifice was part of the script, it had always been part of the script, and yet it wasn’t the part of their script. God doesn’t allow us to go through tribulation to destroy us, he does it for our good, he uses it for good. If you know the script, it is easier to handle the script for your life. And you see, the scripture is the script, not just a script of a made up movie, it is the SCRIPTure of truth, and it is the script for the salvation and life of a believer in this world. But often we want to write the script, rather than trust in God’s script for our lives in this world.
The last two years may not have been in your script. And this mandatory vaccination stuff is probably definitely not in your script. Being forced out of your job, being forced to suffer just for making a perfectly reasonable and lawful and scientific decision in refusing a highly questionable vaccine is a rough deal. So what do you do? The government is trying to punish you, but we should not be afraid of the king’s commandment, nor of the king’s wrath for defying that commandment. We need to trust God even more when the tribulation comes. In those dire straits comes the greatest revelation of God in our lives. Will you stick it out? Or do you cave? I have wondered what we all would do if we were in Rahab’s shoes. Rahab was put in a tight spot, she was being mandated to surrender the spies that she had received into her house. Would we have turned the messengers in because the government said so? Would we have complied out of fear? Well, Rahab refused the mandate because she had chosen God over government. I’m sure there were a lot more reputable persons in Jericho, and yet a harlot showed us what true faith, true courage and true backbone looks like.
Have you scattered in panic when tribulation has come? Or are you gathering with Christ? Matthew 12:30 “He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.” When tough times come, have you been scattered, or are you gathering with him? Tribulation is a time to gather ourselves unto him and with him, rather than running in fear and panic. Why let the government so easily push you off what you know is right? Daniel did not let an ungodly decree put him off praying to his God, even though the sentence was a night with the lions. You know what? If you can’t stand now, when the penalty is not death, how would you stand if your life was actually on the line. The Hebrew children knew there was a fire cooking for them, do you think they were facing a bit of tribulation when they were being pressured and threatened to bow? Oh yes, but they faced it in faith and confidence and courage in their God. That’s not just written to sound good, that’s written for us today, facing our own time of tribulation.
Tribulation is in God’s script for our life. He will use it how he wants. The thing is, the script we would write is a lot different to what has been written. But God’s script is better. God’s script takes you to Canaan, our script is slavery in Egypt. God often maps a different path to the one we want. We want the easy path. But in Exodus, God mapped a different path than you would have thought made sense for Israel, and that path went to water’s edge of the Red Sea. God took them to an impossible passage, to then make a way through that impossible passage. He took them to a place of faith that we do not come to when the going is easy and our life is comfortable. We often wonder where Israel’s faith was when they saw the sea in front and Pharaoh’s army behind, but would we have reacted any different? But on the other side of that sea lay a glorious deliverance, a renewed faith and a joyful song. That’s what God has for us beyond this little time of tribulation.
Maybe for you today, the script has gone a little different to you had hoped. The disciples did not script that storm that rolled in while they were out on the sea. But suddenly they were caught in a great storm. If you trust in Jesus Christ, know that God is greater than the storm you are in. His power is greater than the power of the storm. The storm didn’t control Jesus, the storm obeyed Jesus. God used that storm to burn off that unbelief and to birth faith in the disciples. Now is a time more than ever for faith, to truly trust God in our decisions and for our next step. Maybe you can’t see past today, but that’s fine, because God knows tomorrow. He knew your tomorrow before the world was. All he wants us to do is trust him. Even against all odds. Those disciples saw their Lord and Master get betrayed, secured, falsely accused, unjustly judged and crucified all because of lies, envy, corrupt religion, a blood thirsty mob and a weak Roman governor. They had no power to change what was happening. In these times we seem to have so little power to effect any change don’t we. And yet if you look beyond that tribulation, what was happening was God was delivering us eternal salvation.
So I just want to encourage you that tribulation is part of life, it may not be our choice, it may not be fun, but Jesus did tell us to be of good cheer, he has overcome the world. We are on the winning side. The more we invest in Jesus Christ, the more we lay up our treasures in heaven than on earth, the easier it will be to ride out those storms. On the other side of the flood lay the rainbow, and on the other side of this lays the eternal promises of God, who promises to be with you, to keep you, and to fulfill all his mighty promises to you. The thing is, times of tribulation are probably far better for us than the good times. It is in the time of tribulation where we call on the name of the Lord, where we seek him, where we are forced to trust him.
A little nobody called Simon of Cyrene got compelled to take a journey with a heavy cross one day. He never planned on what he got involved in. A lot of people have been dragged into something they did not plan on, but in that, God may be leading them to his Son. Maybe they would’ve never got saved outside of the tribulation that came into your life. Maybe you’ve just been going on in life, you’re just a passer by who’s got roped into a deal you didn’t have anything to do with, and the lot has been cast into your lap. You didn’t choose this whole covid drama, you didn’t choose this mandatory vaccination campaign, but that is your lot. Well guess what the end of the Proverbs 16:33 says ” The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the Lord.” A tough lot may have been cast into your lap, you may have got a raw deal. But instead of you trying to dispose of that lot, trust in God to dispose of that lot that is in your lap. The whole disposing thereof is of the Lord. God can deal with your tribulation just like he can calm the storm. While you’re in it, while you can’t see out of that cloud that has overshadowed you, trust God, hear his voice in the cloud. Trust in his word, believe his word, and pin your life on the Lord Jesus Christ. It’s ok if your hopes and dreams are nailed to that cross with him, because they also rise with him.
Do you want some cheer for your tribulation? Well in this same chapter Jesus Christ taught his disciples about the Comforter, who is the Holy Spirit. And he is with us forever. You are not alone in your tribulation, God is with you. The Comforter was sent to us, with the promise of guidance into all truth. You don’t have to be caught up in all the lies of this ungodly and wicked world. You can have comfort in this world which comes from knowing the truth and Jesus Christ, who is the truth. And he will never leave you. God has promised to never leave or forsake you. So let us be of good cheer, for when we are of good cheer, that is a shining light witness in a world that has lost hope and that is in despair. Trust in Jesus Christ who has overcome all things, who has given us a set in heaven, and who will not lose us in tribulation, but use times of tribulation to draw us even closer to himself.
Hi, my name is Joseph Zadow. I am a 30 y/o Bible Blogger. I was new to blogging once! God’s word is the best thing that we can be given, and once we have it and know it for ourselves it is both a privilege and responsibility to bring it to others! We are blessed to be a blessing! I am a sinner (for sure!) saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ and I am a Lord Jesus Christ follower. He is faithful even though I rarely am to him. I believe the Bible is the word of God, and stake my life on it. My destination is heaven. As they say, I’m just a passin’ through this world… although most of the time it’s more like hangin’ by a thread in Jericho! I love playing sports – particularly cricket… I currently work on an orchard and a side hobby business of mine is growing vegetables etc – they are good for you! I love writing. Always happy to talk, so feel free to leave a comment. You can read more about me and my blog here – kjvbibletruth.com/about :)