“In this world you shall have tribulation!” Remarkably, these are some of the last words of Jesus to His closest followers. Jesus was telling them, no warning them, that the road ahead was not going to be easy. The word tribulation comes from a Greek root word meaning “pressure” and translated anguish, burdened, persecution, trouble and yes tribulation.
“Fellas, life ahead will not be one of being pampered and enjoying lavish lifestyles! You are going to face difficulty, uncertainty, disloyalty, punishment, imprisonment and possibly death!” is basically what Jesus was telling them what they may encounter. Ok, hands up if you’d like to quit right now! Yes, I see those hands! Fortunately, these weren’t His final words, because He told them to be of good cheer. Wow, that’s like a coach telling his team that they are going to face the toughest, most aggressive, winning team in their division because they are not afraid to hurt others and take penalties, but that’s ok because we are going to win! What? Jesus said, “I have overcome the world!” The tribulation we will encounter He has already faced and won.
Not only are we promised ultimate victory, but the tribulations themselves will serve His purposes in refining us and developing the Christ-like character in all of His champion warriors. His victory will be our victory, and maybe that’s why Paul said, “…but we also glory in tribulations!” John the Apostle said, “And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.”