Affliction is defined as the cause of continual pain of body and mind; the state of being in continuous pain of body, all manner of distress, persecution, oppression, pain, or sorrow; anything that causes sorrow. No one in their right mind would want to experience any of these situations; however as we search the Bible and its contents we see that affliction and tribulation are a very necessary part of being a Christian and God uses it as often as blessings in disguise.
Let us look at two places in the book of Job where this is the case. In Job the 5th chapter verse 17 it states, “Behold happy is the man whom God correcteth; Therefore despise thou not the chastening of the Almighty.” In this situation we can see clearly that the correction and the chastisement that we receive from God is indeed a blessing… but why? Let us look in the book of Job again at the 23rd chapter verse 10, “But he knoweth the way that I take: when he has tried me, I shall come forth as gold.” God is indeed re-creating himself in us!
Comfort in Affliction and Tribulation
Since the thoughts and mind of man and the thoughts of God are far as the heavens are above the earth, He is correcting us and purging us until we become vessels meet for the Master’s use. In St. John chapter 1 verse 12 it states,“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God.” So we see here that it is our destiny and fate if we receive the word of God that we will one day become a true son of God in every way, having the power, the kingdom, and the glory for ever. In first John 2nd chapter at verse 2, it states, “Beloved, now are the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be; but we know that when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.”
Readers, when we truly understand what God has in store for us, then and only then can we have the patience to wait for it. In 2 Corinthians chapter 4 verse 17 it states, “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” God’s people are never free from affliction; however he has made a great promise to them in all of their afflictions.
Comfort in Affliction and Tribulation from Jesus
He has promised to be a refuge in the time of trouble and reminds us that “he knoweth our frame and that he remembers that we just dust.” In Psalms 34th chapter verse 19 it states, “Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivers him out of them all.”. Readers this is telling us that even when we walk right before God, we can expect tribulation and persecution; however our deliverance is certain. We must understand that God’s way for us has been planned for us long before we chose him, for he knew from the foundation of the world what choice we would make. So whatever may come we may have this blessed assurance, that out of every trial and affliction… good will come.
In Romans chapter 8 verse 28 it reads, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God.” Is the chastening a pleasant experience? Of course not. It is God’s way of perfecting our character, which must come to all those that are going to become his son. Let us take a look at Hebrews chapter 12 verses 5-6 it states, “And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son despise thou not the chastening of the Lord, Nor faint when thou art rebuked of Him; For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.”
Let us look at verse 11.”Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness to them which are exercised thereby.” So the chastisement of God is given to work in us the righteousness of God therefore courage and strength should come to us even in the hour of affliction. For God has made a promise to all of his children when passing through trials and afflictions. In Isaiah 42: 2nd verse. it states, “When thou passesth through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they will not overflow thee; when thou walkest through the fire, thou shall not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.”
Finding Comfort in Affliction and Tribulation
Again in Matthew chapter 5 verse 4 it is written, “Blessed are they that mourn; for they shall be comforted”. Readers our God is not vain. If we are to be Christians or followers of Christ we must go down the same road that he did. Christ was tempted in all points yet was without sin. Therefore he is able to sympathize with us in our afflictions. In Hebrews chapter 4 verse 15 it reads, “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are.”
One who has passed through trouble and affliction himself, and received comfort from God, is better able to minister and comfort others. How should we then sympathize with others in their sorrows? In Romans chapter 12 verse 15 it reads, “Weep with them that weep.” Job 6:14 says, “To them that is afflicted pity should be showed from his friend.”
When our friends fall asleep in death, with what words are we to comfort one another? In 1 Thessalonians chapter 4 verses 14-18 it states, “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him…For The Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the Archangel, and with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first; then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we ever be with The Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”
In conclusion, we must trust in God’s Word and understand that if we are to be his people, that we have been forewarned of the experiences that we will have in this world. St. John 16 chapter verse 33 states, “In this world you shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” In verse 20 it says, “Ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall turn into joy.”
This is comfort in affliction and tribulation, may you be edified and may God be with you all in the mighty name of Jesus…Amen!
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