“strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.”
God’s people have their trials.
If we look throughout the whole Bible we see this to be true. From Abraham to Jesus to Paul, we see that trials and tribulations follow God’s people everywhere they go. It was never God’s design, when he chose His people, that they should be an untried people. They were chosen in the furnace of affliction; they were never chosen to worldly peace and earthly joy.
As C.H. Spurgeon puts it, “Trials are a part of our lot; they were predestinated for us in Christ’s last legacy. So surely as the stars are fashioned by his hands, and their orbits fixed by him, so surely are our trials allotted to us: He has ordained their season and their place, their intensity and the effect they shall have upon us.”
Christians, we must never expect to escape troubles. If we do, we will be disappointed, for none of the people who have gone before us have been without them. Take a look at the lives of all the patriarchs, prophets, apostles, and martyrs, and you’ll discover that all of those whom God made “vessels of mercy,” were made to pass through the fires of affliction.
But even though trials and tribulations are the path of God’s children, we have the comfort of knowing that Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, has traveled the very path we are on already. We have His presence and sympathy to cheer us on, His grace to support us, and His example to teach us how to endure. When we reach “the kingdom,” it will more than make amends for the “much tribulation” it took to get there.
Think about it …