“I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.”
It is very interesting that John used the phrase, “companion in tribulation.” John was exiled on the isle of Patmos for preaching the Gospel. As far as he was concerned, he would probably die on this isle. Though he was alone and abandoned for preaching the Word of God, he still tried to be a help to others while going through his own tribulation.
The word “companion” means, one who keeps company with another, or a partner and associate. Everyone who goes through hard times needs someone to be their companion in tribulation. It doesn’t matter who you are; everyone needs that person who will be there in a time of need. Maybe, one of the greatest tests of friendship during your time of need is who is by your side when everyone else has gone on with life. One of the marks of every believer should be that they are a companion in tribulation. Let me share some statements with you concerning being someone’s companion in tribulation.
First, your day is coming. I am a firm believer that if I will be a companion with those who are hurting that when my day comes, others will come to be my companion in my day of tribulation. You must not be so self-centered that you forget those who are going through tough times. The greatest time you will set aside is the time spent helping the hurting. Your day is coming, so you better treat others the same way you would want them to treat you when you are experiencing tribulation.
Second, be a partner in prayer with those who are going through tribulation. Those who have a pure heart wish they could do something to help those who are hurting. You will feel helpless trying to help someone in their time of need, but the one thing you can do for them that is of great help is that you can pray for them. Many times I have told people that I am praying for them, and their response has commonly been that my prayers are the greatest thing I can do to help them. Never underestimate your influence of prayer to encourage those going through tribulation. Just knowing that someone is praying is enough encouragement for some to keep going.
Third, send small reminders that you are thinking of those who are going through tribulation. Writing a note or sending a text is an easy way to let others know you are praying. You can’t always be by the side of those who are hurting, but you can be by their side by sending notes to let them know you are praying for them. You may think that everyone is sending notes of encouragement, but you will soon find out that you are an anomaly. Many people run to the side of the hurting at the onset of their tribulation, but the companion of tribulation is still by their side when others are gone.
Are you a companion in tribulation? Don’t ever think it is a coincidence that people around you are hurting. God allowed you to be around them so you can be their companion in tribulation. Don’t get so busy with your life that you forget to be an encouragement to those who are going through tough times. As my pastor used to say, be good to everyone, because everyone is having a tough time.