Through much tribulation

What does it mean to live under pressure?

We might say that it refers to the affliction, anguish, trouble that we all experience in our daily lives. In short, every kind of ill to which humankind is heir. But therein lies the problem for us. For what is different in our experience from that of our contemporaries with whom we rub shoulders day by day? We are all subject to sickness, disease, anxiety, grief – for this is the common legacy of our human nature. How then do we enter the kingdom “through much tribulation”?

The Lord Jesus said:

““Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.” (Luke 13:24).

The word “strive” means literally ‘to agonise’ and it helps us to appreciate the effort that is needed to live the life to which God has called us. The word “strait” carries the idea of compression and again speaks to us unerringly of the difficulty of travelling that narrow path that leads to God’s kingdom. The gate is strait and the path narrow because God has made it so. He requires us to submit to the discipline that He has imposed.

Similarly it is the word of God that makes the difference in the experiences that we share with our fellow men. As the experiences of godly men and women of old were not unique in themselves, so our participation in the common lot of all men is transformed by the influence of the word of God in our lives. Here is a pressure of circumstance of which the worldly-minded man knows nothing. In all the vicissitudes of life that word transforms our perception of events and produces a faith in God’s promises that brings also, because of the nature we bear, a continuous conflict between the flesh and the spirit. The consciousness of His presence is something that only constant meditation upon the word of God can produce. Inevitably there will be days of darkness and adversity and with them an inner conflict of which the godless man is ignorant. (Extract from Glimpses of Glory, chapter 11)

  • Brother Dudley Fifield

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