IN THE TIMES OF TROUBLE(I)
(i) THE MEANING OF “TROUBLES”
“Tribulation” in that verse do not mean sickness, rather tribulation means persecutions, pressure, trials, like criticism, temporary failure, confusion, suffering in the pathway of duty, cheating, criminal implications, temporary shortage of fund, loss of property, disappointment etc.
Examples Of Troubles In The Scripture Includes
Sufferings on the pathway of duty Acts 16:19-23
False accusation Acts 21:27-30
Temporary failure Matt. 26:75
Criminal implication Gen. 39:12-18
Cheating Gen. 26:19-21
Rejection Judges 11:1-3
Loss of belongings I Sam. 30:1-4
Any of these could happen to you once in a while, they are what the Bible calls tribulations.
(ii) ESSENCE OF TROUBLES
1. God can use it to correct us i.e. to teach us obedience Psalm 119:67, Jonah 1:1-4, Job 5:17
2. To prepare us to for promotion II Cor. 4:17
Joseph needed to pass through the prison before getting to the palace. No one can be promoted without passing through an examination. The tougher the examination, the greater the promotion.
3. To separate the chosen from the called.
Rev. 17:14. Here, concerning those who will conquer with Jesus, three requirements are essential. You first need to be called, then be chosen and be proved faithful.
How can these few be chosen? It is through only the furnace of affliction. (Isaiah 48:10). The troubles help to separate the chosen ones.
4. To teach us how to wholly trust in God. (Job 13:15, I Peter 4:19) and teach us His word. Psalm 119:71.
5. To impart righteousness Heb. 12:11, Mal. 3:3.
6. To increase us financially materially and spiritually Psalm 66:10-12.,
Job,s life was better in the end than the beginning (Job 42:12-13). Though this does not mean we should suffer in ignorance like Job, for there are other avenues for increase.
7. To teach us patience and maturity James 1:2-4
8. To humble us Deut. 8:15-17 and destroy every trace of pride.
9. To test our faith in God’s word Psalm 105:19
Abraham believed in the spoken word of God though for twenty four years after the “covenant of blessing” he remained childless. God allowed that twenty four years long test of faith.
10. To help us to be more fruitful John. 15:2.
11. To draw us closer to God. The prodigal Son was allowed to spend his inheritance and go hungry so that he could go back to his father.