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What Determines How You Meet with God?

I’ve been absent here due to extreme busyness and some illness running through our house (that’s finally out the door), but I’ve been fixated on Revelation chapter 1 for a while now.

I, John, your brother and fellow partaker in the tribulation and kingdom and perseverance which are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. –Revelation 1:9

It’s just an introduction, right? How could you get anything from that? As with many other passages I’ve read this hundreds if not thousands of times, but God highlighted something new.

John called himself a “partaker…in Jesus.” So in what is he partaking? The kingdom? Sure. Perseverance? All right. Tribulation? Wait…excuse me?

How can there be tribulation in Jesus?

We often associate tribulation with negative circumstances or situations. When I looked up the Greek for this word, I found the first meaning is, “a pressing, pressing together, pressure.”

Jesus didn’t cause the negative things in John’s life (or yours), but the good news is, it’s not somewhere out there. That tribulation, simply due to the fact you’re the one facing it, is in Jesus and pressing you closer to Him.

The pressure is forming His nature and character in you just as the kingdom and perseverance will.

Then notice what he said next, he was exiled on Patmos “because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus.” He didn’t bemoan the cruelty of the Roman government or that people hadn’t prayed hard enough.

The purpose of His being there was the same as if he were anywhere else–the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. All this leads into the very next verse:

I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like the sound of a trumpet… –Revelation 1:10

Tradition says John was probably in his nineties at this point–an older gentleman to be sure. Officials had already sentenced him to be burned alive in oil, but it didn’t kill him so let’s try exile to shut him up.

It was here, in tremendous pressure, where he could have despaired or let go of this Jesus. He’d lived a good life and done good things? No one would blame him for laying down and calling it quits, but instead he received probably the greatest encounter with heaven and the King in his life.

The circumstances of your life may never be what you’d consider conducive to meeting with God, but it doesn’t matter. The pressure you feel, no matter how great, cannot hold you back. That tribulation is in Jesus because you are in Jesus.

You can spend all your time trying to figure out the source of your discontent or problems or echo John’s words, “I’m here because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus.”

You are in position to receive the greatest impartation ever if you choose. Will you put yourself “in the Spirit”?

What are your thoughts? Have you experienced this before?


  1. Jason, I love what you say here about the tribulation, the pressure, pushing us closer to Jesus. Wow! Just recalling this will help me realized I can get through the tough times because the Lord is near.

    • It’s so hard not to bow to our emotions in those times, isn’t it? There’s nothing we experience, no trial outside of His love and peace. He’s closer than a heartbeat! Thank you, Martha.

  2. Excellent! Yes, many times when I am faced with “tribulation” I have wondered why…but then Jesus repeats “because you need to be!”

    • He’s with us every step of the way! So thankful. Appreciate your thoughts, Ed. Blessings!

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