“I John who also am your brother in tribulation, and in the Kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ…” Rev 1:9
John was on the island of Patmos. The Book of Martyrs from Fox states that John underwent torture before he went to the island. He was placed into a cauldron full of boiling oil with a view to burn him alive…just that he did not burn. So he was sent to a barren island called Patmos. There to spend the rest of his days.
What we get from the Book of Revelation is a timeless vision that impacts us. The personal cost was great. Yet I wonder if it were not for this “tribulation ” could this vision have come unhindered? Could God have used the burning of flesh and loss of freedom to open John to another dimension?
The whole arena of suffering is one which all of us do not want to face. Nor accept. It is obviously with implication difficult to relate to when we have such greater and better promises. Hebrews shows us the journey Jesus took in chapter 12. He was despised and He despised the shame and withstood the pain.
The true suffering is one that Jesus struggled with in Gethsemane when His Spirit was ready but his flesh struggled with the prospect of the Cross.
He identifies with us totally.
Suffering is the doorway to endless eternal and spiritual possibilities.
May we embrace its work as it brings patience. We will lack nothing. James 1.
As we undergo the suffering and daily struggle of our flesh warring against our spirit man may we embrace our personal cross in which we will rise up in new life.
John suffered in his flesh to bring us a panoramic view of heaven and eternity.
What will our suffering produce?