June 11, 2011
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. Romans 8:18
Have you ever had any tribulation?
That may seem like a silly question. After all, what sane human being can say he or she hasn't had to carry some kind of life's burden?
This really takes me to a little bit of word explanation: tribulation.
In ancient Rome, grain was separated from husk by riding over the sheaves in a crude cart. Instead of wheels, the cart had rollers to which sharp stones and rough bits of iron had been attached.
Those rough rollers tore the valuable grain from the worthless chaff. This cart was called a "tribulum." That's where we get the word "tribulation."
It's quite possible that today you feel as if God were running over you with rough, iron-and-stone-studded rollers. If so, you know tribulation.
Of course, we also need to remember that tribulation can have a purpose. It always has a high purpose when it is perceived from God's perspective and point-of-view.
According to God's plan, tribulation can come because He wishes to separate the valuable you from the worthless stuff of this world. Remember, tribulation isn't designed just to hurt; it is allowed by a caring God to make you more special and of greater worth than you would have been if He had left you alone.
Oh, one other thing about tribulation, the Heavenly Father sent His Son to endure a life of tribulation -- our tribulation -- so we might have an eternity without that burden.
From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, help us see Your plan and why we sinners endure tribulations and sufferings. As we bring before You the pain it causes, help us look forward to the time when, because of Jesus, all believers' tribulation will cease. This I ask in Jesus' Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries