The Christian's tribulation—an occasion for rejoicing?

In ancient Rome a heavy threshing implement was often used at harvest time. It was a sledge studded with iron teeth and was dragged across the ground to separate the chaff from the wheat. The Romans called it a tribulum.

Some Bible commentators have seen a lesson in this image as it relates to the challenges the early Christians faced. The word tribulation is derived from the Latin tribulum. It signifies more than just burden, sufferings, or persecution. Tribulation can be an opportunity for purification.

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