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Just What is Tribulation?

sinking boat

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

The above scripture is pretty popular – but for the wrong reason. Isn’t it interesting that we can quote scripture, but can also misunderstand it?

I hear it quoted, “Well you know, we’re going to have tribulation in this world…” and that’s all some people got out of that scripture. They might even ascribe some problem as a tribulation such as debt, sickness, having problems at work, fighting with an unruly child.

We might think of tribulation getting kicked around by the devil and there’s nothing we can do about it BUT!  The Greek meaning in the dictionary and the Strong’s Concordance state that the word  “tribulation” means (to) PRESSURE. It comes from another word meaning (to) CROWD. Keep on digging and you find these words: to compress, a rut or worn track, to wear through, to crowd from every side. To vex, to oppress.

So picture this – here you are, standing on God’s Word, and all around you are a crowd of imps, demons, and the like – NOT BEATING YOU UP – but talking to you, trying to pressure you to quit standing. They are crowding you, pushing you around saying negative, over and over without stopping:

“Give it up, this isn’t going to work for you. You’re not going to get that (healing, needs met, relationship restored, finances, raise, promotion). That bill is due tomorrow so whatta ya gonna do? Whatta ya gonna do?  Huh? Huh? Why don’t you give up? Your kids are never going to serve God. Why don’t you stop believing God? Whatta ya gonna do? It’s not working, it’s not working, it’s not working!!”

This PRESSURE to stop believing God’s Word can be relentless. It will pressure you at night while you’re trying to sleep. It will crowd you into a corner trying to make you quit. It can make you feel hopeless and depressed and get louder and louder – IF YOU LISTEN.

The enemy’s pressure is in his words, pressuring you to quit. He pulled it on Jesus in Matthew 4 after Jesus had been in the wilderness for 40 days and nights. The devil came and said, “You’re hungry! Why don’t you turn these rocks into bread? You know you want to! Hey! I’m putting you on top of this temple, JUMP OFF! You know those angels will catch you! Or here, look at the world! I’ll give it all to you if you just bow down and worship me.”

Jesus was a man. He was hungry and tired. He’d been fasting for 40 days. You don’t think any of those pressuring words were tempting? Yes, they would have been. But what did Jesus do?

He said, “IT IS WRITTEN….” and then quoted to the devil what God had to say about every word the devil said.

And that is what we need to do when tribulation – the devil’s pressure – comes, just stop and say what God says. Keep saying it. Say it over and over and over – as long as that pressure is working on you.

If you have to, write up some index cards with scriptures so you remember them! At night, turn on the light, pick up the cards, read what you wrote, then go back to sleep. Your words are more powerful than the devils.

When you’re being pressured, just say what God says.

And remember – the very last line of verse 33 – Jesus has overcome the very world we’re being pressured in – He subdued it – CONQUERED it – got the victory over it.

It is in our power to speak what Jesus spoke. Speak and win, every time.


1 thought on “Just What is Tribulation?

  1. That was awesome! I had never looked at the definition and now I understand what the pressure was and Jesus has overcome the pressure for us already.

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