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Beautiful Words Blog | It's Not Going To Be Easy by Pastor John Moropoulos | Gateway Christian Fellowship

One of the great misconceptions that we as followers of Christ often find ourselves entertaining is the idea that following our Lord will be easy, that once we accept His offer of salvation, life will be just... easy.

It’s easy to see where this comes from. Jesus paid the full price for our sins. As He hung from the cross He said, “It is finished.” There are a great many verses in Scripture that speak of His good will toward us, His plan for us, and His declaration that we are “blessed.” Add to that the many teachers and preachers who assure us that God’s will for us is to “prosper” (and it is) and that, with sufficient faith, we can overcome all the difficulties in life and things will go just fine.

The truth is that most all of this is true. In fact the only real problem is the very last part: that with sufficient faith we can overcome life’s challenges and things will be just fine. It’s that very last part, the “will be fine” that gets us in trouble. The fact is, even for the Christian faithfully following and serving the Savior, life can be hard, really hard.

One of the words that Jesus used shows this very clearly. In Mark 13 Jesus uses it twice. It is the word θλῖψις. It is usually translated as “tribulation.” In Mark 13:19 Jesus told His followers, “For those days will be a time of tribulation such as has not occurred since the beginning of the creation which God created until now, and never will.” Of course that speaks of a very specific time of tribulation that will come upon the world and then pass. This is usually identified as the fall of Jerusalem in AD70. But what of the rest of history since the resurrection?

Later in that same chapter Jesus said, “But in those days, after that tribulation, THE SUN WILL BE DARKENED AND THE MOON WILL NOT GIVE ITS LIGHT, AND THE STARS WILL BE FALLING from heaven, and the powers that are in the heavens will be shaken. “Then they will see THE SON OF MAN COMING IN CLOUDS with great power and glory” (Mark 13.24-26 NASB). In this section, Jesus is speaking of a time of tribulation that will come immediately before His return. So that’s two distinct times of tribulation, one in 70AD and one before He returns.

In verse 24 Jesus said, "after that tribulation." The word “that” is specific. It points to the time of tribulation just before Jesus’ return as distinct from other times of tribulation. The use of “that” means there will be others. So times of tribulation aren’t limited to the period just after Jesus’ resurrection and just prior to His return.

Jesus told His followers, in John 16.33, “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” Jesus said, “In this world you have tribulation…” Now that’s a verse you won’t see stuck to many refrigerator doors unless of course, it’s the whole verse. And that’s the critical matter. We must get the “whole verse,” the “whole chapter,” the “whole book,” and the “whole Bible.”

Jesus has promised us not a life free of trials, difficulties, disappointments, pain, or suffering, but of His presence in those times. “These things I have spoken to you so that in Me you may have peace.” That’s the promise, and what a wonderful promise it is.

We can know that whatever circumstances we may find ourselves in, Jesus is with us, and He will stay with us to the very end and then into eternity. What a promise!


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