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Daily Reading: Exodus 21:22-23:13 ESV, Matthew 24:1-28 ESV, Psalm 29:1-11 ESV, Proverbs 7:6-23 ESV

Daily Verse: “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake.” (Matthew 24:9 ESV)

THLIPSIS (2347): “This word primarily means “a pressing, pressure,” anything which burdens the spirit.  In Mt. 24:9 “to be afflicted.” It is coupled with stenochoria (4730) “anguish”[I]

Pressing pressure.

Tribulation means pressing pressure, something we all encounter in our daily lives.  We will never suffer like Christ.  Life comes with trouble, feeling pain and anguish part of the journey.  When my nephew died, my suffering crippled me.  Like a son to me, I can still hear my brother’s voice on the phone, telling me of Cody’s passing.  In my mind, I hear the scream that left my lips, as tribulation like I’d never experienced entered my life.

Somehow, people think placing their faith in Christ means no more trouble, but it’s a lie.  Jesus tells us the truth:

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 ESV)

Tribulation, a pressing pressure, a constant in our lives, whether small or large, anything that burdens the spirit, we can overcome with Jesus.  He won the battle for us.

Why not me?

We often ask the same question as we journey through life, facing the tribulations that we meet on the road.  “Why me?”  I know I’ve queried God with those words when life’s pressures overwhelm me.  But recently, I heard a message adding a third word to the question, “Why not me?”

Admittedly, I don’t like pain and suffering any more than the next person.  But accepting tribulations as part of life helps us find Jesus’s peace amid our pain.  God equips us for the journey He calls us to walk.  Everyone’s troubles differ, but we all have issues.

And because we experience tribulation, we can develop gratitude.  Without bad days, we wouldn’t appreciate good ones.  Experiencing freedom from life’s pressing pressures comes from trusting Jesus.  Placing your pain at the foot of the cross allows God to fill you with His grace and mercy.  Comfort from the Creator comes in ways that minister to your grieving heart.  Let God heal the brokenness with you, find life to the full in His loving arms.

[i] Strong, J., & Strong, J. (2010). The New Strong’s expanded exhaustive concordance of the Bible. Greek Dictionary of the New Testament (p 116) Thomas Nelson

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