TRIBULATION AND PATIENCE
Posted on September 4, 2020 by Catey Stover in Freedom Fighters
Now there are two words that do not go together. At least not for me. Why should I be in all kinds of trouble (tribulation) and be patient? I ache. I’m mentally upset. I lost my job, or at least temporarily. My world has been turned upside down. And I’m supposed to be patient?
Paul says so. Romans 5:3 “…glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience…”
OK. I want patience and I want it now.
How long will the workout room be closed? How long will the restaurants be closed? And the pool…and all activities…and all sports are cancelled so that I can’t spend my evenings watching them? This is terrible. Tribulation.
Are you kidding me?
I sit here and write this in relative comfort. I am not sick. I am not unemployed. I am not separated from friends and family any more than usual. (My good friend is in a full care facility which is locked down. His wife cannot even get in to see him and she’s about 300 yards away! It’s been a long seven weeks as I write this.) I am not away from home and really cannot get to home (as many here in FL are this time of year), or if I do, I will be quarantined for 14 days. I am not in a tiny, confined space.
But I am learning something about patience. My wife is happy about that. I’m learning that the clock does not run my life. I’m reading more and studying more (so I can write more). I’m contacting my friends with Facebook (which I used to avoid with a passion) and Facetime. I just began Zoom yesterday for committee meeting purposes.
Paul didn’t give up on this idea of patience, either. Seven chapters later he said, “Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;” (12:12). This gives opportunity to rejoice in all that is mine that I simply took for granted before. It certainly keeps me praying. Up to the minute prayers of thanks and petition.
And while I’m quoting Paul, here’s the kicker, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?” Implied answer: none of them. He can’t help it. God is love. Period.
This thought never leaves the back of my mind: if I were really in tribulation, my back to the wall, my life on the line, would I be able to write what you just read? My prayer is that I would.
How about you?
Written By Neil Fichthorn: Rev. Neil Fichthorn is a seasoned conference and camping servant having served at Gull Lake Bible Conference, Sandy Cove Ministries as President, and an interim Executive Director at Pinebrook Bible Conference. He also served in church music for decades as a choir director and arranger. He has been Bill Welte’s mentor and friend for over 45 years.
Think About This: “The Spirit-filled life is not a special, deluxe edition of Christianity. It is part and parcel of the total plan of God for His people..” – A.W. Tozer
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: 15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear -1 Peter 3:15
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the doctrinal and theological views held by America’s Keswick.