Can Someone Glory in the Tribulations?

And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; Romans 5:3

Tribulations, anguish, pain, suffering, and similar issues are seen in the Western world as a symbol of misfortune and failure. No one can understand, nor accept, that the Gospel of the Kingdom considers that tribulation or anguish comes from God and that it has a purpose of Revelation.

This is of course a philosophical conception, and it comes from Greece. Greek philosophy established as a measure of good that happiness is the ultimate goal of the life of man, that every affliction, pain or tribulation is synonymous with tragedy, and that it comes from satanic intervention (demiurge).

From there it was socially established that anguish is an evil, that pain is a punishment, and that the tribulation is a divine judgment, from which it is recommended to flee from them.

The Christian religion has echoed this philosophical approach and has promoted among its basic doctrines that seeking and being accountable to God is equivalent to living well, enjoying a pleasant life, and the assurance that the future will be prosperous and satisfactory.

However, none of these approaches is biblical. The Bible clearly states that tribulations are associated with the life of faith, that they come to prove the conviction of the believer about the truth of his submission to the lordship of Christ.

The theme of tribulations is part of the sound doctrine of the Gospel of the Kingdom. Its foundation is the very teaching of Jesus.

Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. Matthew 24:9

In the reference of the conversion of the apostle Paul we find the revelation that Ananias received around the apostle,

But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: 16For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake. Acts 9:15, 16

Jesus prepared his disciples to see that tribulations are the natural reaction that the world raises so that the believer desists from his faith in Jesus.

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. John 16:33

Affliction is spiritual turbulence, and it is because of union with Christ. All the writers of the Gospels left it established in their respective writings,

In the Gospel of Matthew,

And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved. Matthew 10:22

In the Gospel of Mark,

And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. Mark 13:13

In the gospel of Luke,

And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake. Luke 21:17

In the gospel of John,

If the world hates you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. 19If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. John 15:18, 19

In the epistles we also find this same establishment. The apostle Paul stressed that the life of faith is achieved by overcoming the tribulations,

Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God. Acts 14:22

The apostle Peter exhorted to stand firm and not fluctuate in the presence of tribulations,

Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: 7That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: 1st. Peter 1:6,7

The apostle John emphasized that the tribulation is a faithful testimony of the personal decision by the call of Jesus to be part of the Kingdom of Heaven,

I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. Revelation 1:9, 10

Everyone who joins Jesus will face tribulation. The tribulation is not only because of persecution, it also arises from the abhorrence that the world raises over them, in some cases, abhorrence on the part of the family itself.

The tribulation also comes because the forces of darkness cause diseases, scarcity and marginalization. The case of Job is a clear example of this case.

Everyone who joins Jesus will face tribulation,

For if they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry? Luke 23:31

The children of faith never saw the tribulation or the affront as an obstacle; they saw in it the participation in the tribulations of Jesus,

And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name. Acts 5:41

The apostle Paul, even, understood that his tribulations complemented the afflictions of Christ because of the Gentiles,

Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church: Colossians 1:24

Is there a process of Revelation through the tribulation, and if there is, of what kind, and where is it?

The tribulations, the anguish, the pain, the suffering, are the path of Revelation for the establishment of the Justice of the Kingdom through faith in Jesus.

For those who are called to develop a ministry of the new covenant according to the Spirit, they must understand that fleeing from tribulation, from affliction, from anguish, from suffering, moves them away from a singular ministry, from power, from the supernatural,

Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. 1st. Corinthians 4:1

We must be guided by the Word and not by philosophical approaches that promote comfort, because all this comes from Satan,

For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. 1st. Corinthians 1:18

However, it is not about suffering for suffering or having problems to be suffering. Pain, suffering and anguish are not in themselves the foundation of Revelation. It is necessary to understand that the purpose of enduring them is because in the decision to submit to the lordship of Christ, there is also the decision to deny oneself all the pleasures of Adamic existence.

The process of Revelation is enabled when the tribulations are worked in light of the promises in the Word. Let’s look at the question Paul asks about Abraham’s tribulations.

What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? Romans 4:1

And, three verses later in the same chapter, he answered,

Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. 5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. Romans 4:4, 5

Paul assures that Abraham would have had to glory in the flesh, if he had done something; But Paul himself states that the only thing that Abraham did was to believe the promise of God, and since believing is not a human work, but a spiritual, divine one, Abraham has nothing to boast about; but his act of believing God was counted for Righteousness, because the suffering of leaving his land and his family, and the house of his father, to walk to a land that he did not know, established on earth that God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent.[1]

The pain of expelling his firstborn son, Ishmael, only because God told him: This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir,[2] it established in the land that is Jehovah God who blesses, prospers and inherits on earth.

And he said unto him, I am the LORD that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this land to inherit it. Genesis 15:7

The tribulation of knowing that after three days he would sacrifice the son of the supernatural, Isaac, in a holocaust like any lamb he had previously sacrificed, only because God himself had requested him, it established on earth that the Life of faith is activated when man strips himself of what he has, and gives it entirely to God, without retaining anything for himself,

And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I. 12And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me. Genesis 22:11, 12

No tribulation, no pain, no suffering produces by itself Revelation, because if so, we would be before the justification by works.

Tribulation, suffering, pain produce Revelation only when it has been fully understood that such afflictions have come because of the Word that has been established in the believer’s heart, Word by which it has been born to a newness of life. Two teachings of Jesus establish it.

The first teaching is found as part of the parable of the sower,

When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side. Matthew 13:19

The second teaching is found in what is known as the Sermon on the Mount,

Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: 25And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. Matthew 7:24, 25

Note that the rain that descended, the floods that came, and the winds that blew the house, represent the afflictions, the tribulations and the pain, which come to those who do according to the Word, as well as to those who do not do according to the Word. The difference is the result of what happens with each person.

Revelation through tribulation comes when arises in the believer the conviction that such afflictions come to reach that for which we were reached. There is no place for feelings of grief and pity.

Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:12

The tribulation has the purpose of undoing the Adamic nature, and transforming the genetics of its substance,

Thou liftest me up to the wind; thou causest me to ride upon it, and dissolvest my substance. Job 30:22

It is by the conviction that God is upsetting the Adamic nature, and forming Christ in me, that it can see the process of development of ministerial character, necessary to be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.[3]

Only until then, and not before, is that we can glory of the tribulations,

And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; 4And patience, experience; and experience, hope: 5And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. Romans 5:3-5

The text of Paul, Word of the Lord, means the following,

Tribulations worketh perseverance;

It is not the same patience as perseverance. Patience is passive: to wait for something to happen. Perseverance is active: something is already happening, that’s why I persevere in what I believe.

And perseverance worketh the effort to prove what I believe;

The expression of the apostle, δοκιμην, which was translated as experience, means in Greek what the expression “try-out” means in English, an exercise to prove what I am capable of doing.

The effort to prove what I believe worketh the confidence to see what is promised;

Hope is not what is expected, but what was promised, according to the same apostle defined it,

For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? 25But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it. Romans 8:24, 25

And here is the process of development of ministerial character, that is, the process of Revelation of Christ in me, through tribulation, of affliction, of pain, of anguish,

Tribulation worketh perseverance; And perseverance worketh the effort to prove what I believe; the effort to prove what I believe worketh confidence to see what is promised; and the confidence of seeing what is promised does not embarrass; Because the love of God is poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who is given to us (God is not a liar in what is promised);

Can someone glory of the tribulation?

Yes, many, because Christ is being formed, in such a way that we can now say, with understanding and with certainty,

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20

Therefore, as part of glorying in tribulations, our understanding leads us to make decisions,

And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. Galatians 5:24

We do not cultivate the soul, neither feed the feelings, nor offer cult to reason, but we grow in the Word, in the Revelation of the formation of Christ in us, hope of Glory.

Therefore,

Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, Philippians 3:13

Understanding that tribulation produces perseverance,

But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway. 1st. Corinthians 9:27

And that perseverance produces the effort to show what I believe,

My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you, Galatians 4:19

Can someone glory of tribulations?

Blessings

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Coming in two formats: Paperback, and ePub

[1] Numerus 23:19

[2] Genesis 15:4

[3]Ephesians 3:18

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