The Testimony of Jesus
John talks about the tribulation, kingdom & patience of Jesus Christ in the revealing (revelation) of Jesus Christ.
We have noted how John is a man moved by the Spirit to record Scripture.
Paying attention to Scripture & the Spirit are 2 key areas for us to attend to in our lives.
He is also constantly aware of his strong family connections despite being isolated & in exile on an island.
Aware of the Lord’s abiding presence with him & succoured by the prayers of his brothers & sisters in Christ.
What does John mean by the tribulation of Jesus Christ? That will be our focus for today.
I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet, saying, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,” and, “What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia Revelation 1:9-11a NKJV
The word John uses for tribulation here is ‘thlipsis’.
It can be translated suffering, persecution, great pressure, anguish, affliction or agony.
It is referring to the persecution we all come under & face as Christians.
This is exactly what Jesus warned & promised us would happen (Matthew 5:10-12; John 16:33).
One way, or another, we will all experience our fair share of it.
The Kingdom of God is contested by the Lord’s enemies. We experience that as individuals & corporately as the body of Christ.
John was experiencing this by being exiled in a Roman penal colony. In differing ways we experience it too.
On a daily basis we experience the battle against the world, the flesh & the devil (Ephesians 2:1-3).
We also know we are in a spiritual war (Ephesians 6:10-13) against those who have set themselves against the Lord & His Anointed.
The enemy within us (the flesh), around us (the world) & above us (the devil).
We are battling, and facing pressure, on every front!!! Everything is being contested – constantly.
Everyone who follows Jesus will experience some degree of trouble, tribulation, suffering & persecution in this life (2 Timothy 3:12).
Forceful men & women contend to take hold of the Kingdom which suffers violence in return (Matthew 11:12).
Thankfully, Jesus has won the victory & we find our victory in Him (1 Corinthians 15:57).
He is our peace in the midst of any tribulation & through Him we are overcomers & more than conquerors (Romans 8:37).
The battle is constantly raging (within, around & above us) but ‘In Christ’ we have the victory & are on the winning side.
Hallelujah!! Give thanks for our mighty Champion & constant, unchanging tower of Strength.
- In what ways am I facing internal or external pressures right now?
- How confident am I of the victory of Jesus in the challenges I am currently facing?
- Meditate upon the tribulation we will experience as the Lord’s people.
A song related to this theme:
Thank you that You won an eternal victory in your Son & my Saviour Jesus Christ,
Jesus thank you that You are the Victory of God,
That in, & through, You I overcome & am more than a conqueror.
Holy Spirit give me daily strength for the fight,
Keep me overcoming in Jesus name.
This I ask in the mighty Name of Jesus.
Written by Gareth Jones