Church of Christ - 106 SW Murray Rd. Lee's Summit, MO 64081
WE MUST THROUGH MANY TRIBULATIONS …
Acts 14:22-- “strengthening the souls
of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying, “We must
through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.”
The above quote is from Paul and Barnabas as they were near to completing what is commonly understood as Paul’s first missionary journey through Asia Minor. They were wanting to encourage and prepare the new disciples for their coming lives as christians. These new brethren might have had an idea that now that they were christians everything in their lives would be “hunky-dory”. Perhaps they had the mistaken understanding that they would not experience any more problems nor difficulties now that they were born again into the Lord’s kingdom. I do believe there are some who may believe this on some level, but of course, this idea is not true. Paul and Barnabas wanted the brethren to be prepared for what life would continue to throw at them by telling them “They must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God”.
There is nothing in the gospel nor even in the rest of the Lord’s Word that even implies christians would no longer have troubles to deal with. As a matter of fact, things might even get harder because they now had a giant “target” on their souls that would identify them as the Lord’s people, and Satan would want to try harder to snatch them away from the safety of the Lord and His kingdom.
To be sure, the Lord does not take away our pain nor our problems. He does not necessarily keep the hardships of living in this world away from us, nor does He prevent us from pain as we are dealing with such difficulties. And He certainly does not keep Satan from tempting us that can often lead to further problems.
However, what the Lord does do is to help us deal with our problems and difficulties in a righteous manner. In a manner that they do not harm our spirits nor our faith. He has promised to help us in times of troubles as noted in Hebrews 4:16 -- “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” He has promised us comfort in 2 Cor 1:3-11. It is through our dealings with troubles and trials that can mold us as we pursue maturity in Christ. I would argue that without such we COULD NOT grow into what Christ desires of us. Therefore in essence, why WOULD He take our trials away? We would never have the great blessings of overcoming them!
Indeed, the Lord knows what He is doing by NOT taking our difficulties away but by helping us deal with them in a righteous and just manner. This is just one more reason to praise and honor Him and His desire to work in our lives. We only need to let Him do His perfect work!
James 1:2-4 2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
questions or comments -- firstname.lastname@example.org