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What does it mean to be patient in tribulation?

New Christians frequently mistakenly believe that God takes care of all of our issues and that He only brings blessings and joy into our lives. If this were the case, then Paul, the apostle, would not have advised Christians to "rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, and be constant in prayer" (Romans 12:12, ESV).

Most of us find patience to be a quality that requires practise. It takes a particular grace from God to remain patient under trials. The word "be patient" in the Greek text originally meant "to be persistent, refuse to stop, persevere." A state of physical, emotional, social, or economic hardship or affliction that is burdensome and upsetting is known as tribulation.

The Holy Spirit's fruit is patience (Galatians 5:22; Colossians 3:12). Hebrews author claims that perseverance through tribulation is a necessary quality: "Patient endurance is what you need today, so that you will continue to obey God's will. Afterward, you will obtain whatever he has promised (Hebrews 10:36, NLT). When faced with difficulty, patient endurance entails remaining steadfast despite your want to flee (1 Corinthians 16:13; Philippians 1:27).

Paul was perhaps the most qualified person to give advice on how to deal with suffering, anguish, and hardship, especially when doing so for the cause of the gospel. As an apostle of Christ, Paul regularly encountered resistance and persecution. He once said, "We are pressed on all sides by problems, but we are not crushed. We are confused, but not crushed by hopelessness. God pursues us, yet He never leaves us. Although we are knocked down, we are not annihilated. Our bodies continue to join in Jesus' death through pain, enabling us to physically experience Jesus' life. Yes, because we serve Jesus, we are constantly in danger of passing away. This is done so that Jesus' life will be seen in our deteriorating bodies (2 Corinthians 4:8–11, NLT).

Dealing with resistance from the devil, our enemy, is a necessary part of serving the Lord and sharing the good news of His kingdom (1 Peter 5:8). We will undoubtedly encounter demoralising moments. Jesus warned that there will be tribulation in the earth because of this. But never fear, I have conquered the planet (John 16:33, ESV).

Because we are aware that Jesus Christ will ultimately prevail over all of our adversaries, we can learn to be patient during trials: "In his justice he will repay those who persecute you. When the Lord Jesus descends from heaven, God will grant rest to both those of us who are being persecuted and to you who are suffering. He will arrive in burning fire with his powerful angels to deliver judgement on people who don't know God and disobey the Good News of our Lord Jesus (2 Thessalonians 1:6–8, NLT; see also 1 Corinthians 15:25).

Learning to rejoice when faced with difficulties and hardships is a necessary skill for enduring adversity. This is what it means to be patient in tribulation. Additionally, perseverance builds character, and character feeds our firm hope in salvation. And this hope won't end in disappointment. Because he gave us the Holy Spirit, which causes our hearts to be filled with his love, we understand how much God loves us (Romans 5:3–5, NLT). Paul advised Christians to endure in the face of difficulty by leaning on God for support and taking joy in "weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties." I am strong because I am weak (2 Corinthians 12:10).


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