Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.
Are you willing to endure tribulation?
In the movie, Bridge of Spies, there is a combat briefing where the pilots are told they would each be given a “scratch device” and to keep it on them at all times. It was to be used, if they get caught, in order to take their own lives. Not only would it keep them from giving up any secrets, but, it would also keep them from having to suffer at the hands of the enemy. You don’t have a “scratch device”. And though it may sound like a good thing to have; you don’t want one. You must go through tribulation.
Hebrews 5:7-9 When Jesus was on the earth, a man of flesh and blood, He offered up prayers and pleas, groans and tears to the One who could save Him from death. He was heard because He approached God with reverence. 8 Although He was a Son, Jesus learned obedience through the things He suffered. 9 And once He was perfected through that suffering He became the way of eternal salvation for all those who hear and follow Him, (The Voice)
There are things you will suffer and that is just the way it is. The suffering is purposeful, though.
James 1:2-4 Consider it wholly joyful, my brethren, whenever you are enveloped in or encounter trials of any sort or fall into various temptations.3 Be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience.4 But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be [people] perfectly and fully developed [with no defects], lacking in nothing. (Amplified Bible, Classic Edition)
Your tribulations work patience in you. When patience is through, it can make you perfect. Don’t run away from your troubles; they will make you the person God intended you to be.
Please agree with me as I pray:
Father, I was not sure, when I began this journey with You, what to expect. I believed all I had to do was accept Your invitation for salvation and everything would be alright. I guess I thought I would look at life through rose-colored glasses from that point on. I thought I would not have any struggles. I thought if I had problems, You would miraculously work each one out as it came. After all, You are God. As my journey continued, I found a scripture that says in this life I shall have tribulation, but I am to be of good cheer. That was an eye opener. Now I understand my tribulations make me strong. Sometimes I am successful and sometimes I am not, but I know You are always there. I can rejoice because You have chosen me. I don’t need to step off of the path I’m on. I just need to live my life and endure whatever I have to endure, to glorify You. Thank You for growing me up in You. I can look at my life as wonderful, no matter what circumstances I have to face…