Tribulation is a word that you probably don’t use every day of the week. But you experience it nearly every day. Tribulation means trouble, problems, hardship, misery, suffering, and misfortune–I’m sure you’ve got the idea.
You may be thinking, “Hey, I’m an expert in tribulation!” Then you’ll be interested in the background of the word. When Rome ruled the world, grain was a very precious commodity, and threshing grain was a natural part of every-day life. Across the sheaves of cut grain, the Romans pulled a crude cart that was equipped with rollers instead of wheels. Sharp stones and rough bits of iron were attached to these rollers to help separate the husks from the grain. This cart was called a tribulum – from which we get our word “tribulation”—a fitting picture of how troubles grind on us and put us under pressure.
Sometimes we face so many problems that we feel like Pastor Ray Pritchard, who prayed, “Lord, if there’s any more trouble coming, send it now while I’m used to it.”
A Roman farmer, however, did not use his tribulum to destroy the grain—only to refine it. So too God uses our troubles to make us stronger, for the Bible says that “tribulation produces perseverance” (Romans 5:3).
The apostle Paul wrote that God “comforts us in all our tribulation” (2 Corinthians 1:4)—that is, He strengthens us and sustains us. It is a related word to the name given to the Holy Spirit, who is called the Comforter. Bible teacher G. Campbell Morgan says that comfort means more than reassurance or consolation. It means reinforcing the person and sustaining him. It means coming to his side to help. God’s comfort is no less than His strengthening companionship and upholding power.
If you’re experiencing tribulation today, lay your problems before Him and ask His help as never before. You too will find that the divine Comforter will strengthen you in the middle of your tribulation.
 Ray Pritchard, The Healing Power of Forgiveness (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 2005), 131.
 G. Campbell Morgan, The Corinthian Letters of Paul (Grand Rapids, MI: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1946), 227.
How is God using your troubles to make you stronger today?.