A Misconception in Tribulations

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In times such as these, tribulations seem synonymous with the Christian existence. Our senses are bombarded with stories of woe, illness, and disappointments. Every now and then, we hear a hand-raising testimony or two, but let’s face it, if we let it, the middle part of John 16:33 can close in around our necks like cement stocks. As a follower of Christ, is tribulation a part of the package?

This scripture had always stood out to me, like a lone document sitting in my ‘to do’ box, waiting for my attention. One of the pillars of Christianity is the victory, and more poignantly, the power we now have access to through Christ to change our environment. But over the years, as I’ve observed the mindset of some fellow followers, i’ve noticed a certain complacency, an acceptance of their fate, as it were. After all, Christ said we would have tribulations. And if He said it, we must acknowledge it and wear it as badge of honour, I suppose? A follower of Christ must live out His words, right?

Then we have those who burst into loud and panicked prayer, as if the louder and more aggressive we pray, the faster we can attach some jet fuel to the tribulations and send it rocketing through space, floating away into oblivion, where it belongs.

However, having touched on the two extremes, perhaps there’s another perspective to explore.

Christ made it noticeably clear when He spoke about tribulation.

John 16:33 “…In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world”

Could it be that tribulation should be viewed primarily as a geographical condition? Not something that is internalised as a staple in the life of a Christian. The presupposition for tribulation seems to be grounded in an earthly domain, definitely not a spiritual one. And since He also said we “…are not of the world” (John 17:14), perhaps we should endeavour to see ourselves as temporary habitants of earth, challenged by the imperfections of our environment, rather than individuals bummed down by the yoke placed on our necks simply because we are Christians.

When we understand that tribulation is purely geographical:

  1. Our mindsets start to change. We start to see ourselves as not of this world, spiritually separate from all the shenanigans going on down here.
  2. The way we pray changes, because we will no longer pray out of desperation, but we will pray out of confidence and knowledge, because you know we have authority over this foreign environment
  3. Our expectation changes. When we realise that our spiritual position through Christ is much higher than that of this world and its problems, our faith receives a boost, and we know that faith is the optimal element that moves the hand of God in our lives.

We are blessed, we are not magnets for tribulation. The only time we should carry around the baggage of tribulation is when we’re going to deposit it in the camp of the enemy. Just saying.

Live TKL (The Kiniun Life)



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