Tribulation-Thlipsis (Greek Word Study)

Tribulation (2347) (thlipsis from thlibo = to crush, press together, squash, hem in, compress, squeeze in turn derived from thláo = to break) originally expressed sheer, physical pressure on a man. Thlipsis is a strong term which does not refer to minor inconveniences, but to real hardships.

Medically thlipsis was used of the pulse (pressure). It is a pressing together as of grapes. It conveys the idea of being squeezed or placed under pressure or crushed beneath a weight. When, according to the ancient law of England, those who willfully refused to plead guilty, had heavy weights placed on their breasts, and were pressed and crushed to death, this was literally thlipsis. (from Trench's Synonyms of the New Testament) The iron cage was stenochoria (see below). Thlipsis thus refers not to mild discomfort but to great difficulty.

Thlipsis uses in the NT - see notes on uses in individual verses below.

Robertson's Word Pictures - Tribulation (thlipseōs). From thlibō to press, to oppress, to squeeze (cf. Matthew 7:14). The English word is from the Latin tribulum, the roller used by the Romans for pressing wheat. Cf. our “steam roller” Trench (Synonyms of the N.T., pp. 202-4): “When, according to the ancient law of England, those who wilfully refused to plead, had heavy weights placed on their breasts, and were pressed and crushed to death, this was literally thlipsis The iron cage was stenochōria).

Morris rightly notes that "No one likes troubles of this kind, but they may be seen as difficulties to be overcome, as ways of opening up new possibilities. One who sees them in this light glories in them (Ibid)

Martin Luther wrote that "Whatever virtues tribulation finds us in, it develops more fully. If anyone is carnal, weak, blind, wicked, irascible, haughty, and so forth, tribulation will make him more carnal, weak, blind, wicked and irritable. On the other hand, if one is spiritual, strong, wise, pious, gentle and humble, he will become more spiritual, powerful, wise, pious, gentle and humble."

Thlipsis is used 45 times in the NT (see all NT uses of Thlipsis below) Thlipsis is translated in the NAS as affliction (inflicting on a person something that is hard to bear), 14; afflictions, 6; anguish, 1; distress (the state of being in great trouble), 2; persecution (harassment in a manner designed to injure, grieve, or afflict), 1; tribulation (distress or suffering resulting from oppression or persecution), 16; tribulations, 4; trouble, 1.

Thlipsis - 99x in the Septuagint (LXX) = see all 99 verses below.

Thlipsis is used twice in Ge 42:21 - Then they said to one another, "Truly we are guilty concerning our brother, because we saw the distress (Heb = tsarah = straits; Lxx = thlipsis) of his soul when he pleaded with us, yet we would not listen; therefore this distress (Heb = tsarah = straits; Lxx = thlipsis) has come upon us."

John MacArthur writes that "Thlipsis (tribulations) has the underlying meaning of being under pressure and was used of squeezing olives in a press in order to extract the oil and of squeezing grapes to extract the juice… In Scripture the word thlipsis is perhaps most often used of outward difficulties, but it is also used of emotional stress." (MacArthur, J: Romans 1-8. Chicago: Moody Press)

Figuratively thlipsis pictures one being "crushed" by intense pressure, difficult circumstances, suffering or trouble pressing upon them from without. Thus persecution, affliction, distress, opposition or tribulation, all press hard on one's soul. Thlipsis does not refer to mild discomfort but to great difficulty. In Scripture the thlipsis is most often used of outward difficulties, but it is also used of emotional stress and sorrows which "weighs down" a man’s spirit like the sorrows and burden his heart. Thlipsis then includes the disappointments which can "crush the life" out of the one who is afflicted.

The English word "tribulation" is derived from the Latin word tribulum (literally a thing with teeth that tears), which was a heavy piece of timber with spikes in it, used for threshing the corn or grain. The tribulum was drawn over the grain and it separated the wheat from the chaff. As believers experience the "tribulum" of tribulations, and depend on God’s grace, the trials purify us and rid us of the chaff.

Lawrence Richards writes that "thlipsis is used as a technical theological term for the Great Tribulation (see note below) of the end times. Thlipsis is also used in a non-theological, figurative way to convey the idea of the great emotional and spiritual stress that can be caused by external or internal pressures. Of the fifty-five uses of this root (thlipsis and thlibo) in the NT, fifty-three are figurative and correspond closely to the Hebrew words tsarah and tsar." (Richards, L O: Expository Dictionary of Bible Words: Regency)

Marvin Vincent has the following note explaining that the root thlibo means "to press or squeeze. Tribulation is perhaps as accurate a rendering as is possible, being derived from tribulum, the threshing-roller of the Romans. In both the idea of pressure is dominant, though thlipsis does not convey the idea of separation (as of corn from husk) which is implied in tribulatio." (Vincent, M. R. Word studies in the New Testament Vol. 1, Page 3-80)

Vine writes that thlipsis "primarily means a pressure, that which weighs down the spirit. For the believer who is enabled to endure it, the affliction becomes a means of triumph… “afflictions” are the various forms of injury to body and mind suffered by those who are persecuted… Thlipsis is the suffering which results from what presses hard on the soul." (Collected writings of W. E. Vine)

Ralph Earle on thlipsis as used in Romans 2:9 " There will be tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek" (note) - 

The Greek word is thlipsis. It is found 45 times in the NT; 21 times it is translated "tribulation," 17 times "affliction." The word comes from the verb thlibe 5, which means "press," a term used for pressing out grapes in a winepress (see pix). A winepress can be seen today near the Garden Tomb. It is cut in the rock (representative picture). The ripe grapes would be put in the rock basin and then women and children would squeeze out the juice by walking around on the grapes with their bare feet. 

The figure suggests the heavy pressures of life that sometimes become almost unbearable. One feels as if he is being trodden down until he cannot take it any longer.

In Romans 2:9 it is the tribulation of the wicked that is mentioned (Ed: To some degree the Great Tribulation will be "tribulation of the wicked" but it is only a foretaste of their final, eternal tribulation!). A striking parallel may be found in Isa 63:1-3 (Ed: see commentary), where the Lord says that He has "trodden the winepress alone" and adds: "for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury." The reference is to God destroying the enemies of Israel (Ed: Which will reach it's culmination in the Great Tribulation). Here it is the wicked who will experience God's wrath and fury for their willful disobedience. There is another figure which is suggested by the English word tribulation. This term comes from the Latin tribulum (see youtube video), which means a threshing instrument. In NT times there were two ways of threshing grain. If the amount was very small, one might use a flail. Usually, however, the grain was piled about a foot and a half deep on the smooth, hard threshing floor. These threshing floors can still be seen outside the villages of Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan, with oxen pulling a threshing sled around on the grain. This sled is about four feet long and two and a half feet wide. Attached to the bottom are sharp stones or pieces of metal. These tear the grain loose from the stalks, and the oxen's feet help in the process. One may still see two yoke of oxen, each pulling a threshing sled ridden by women or children, just as it was done back in the days of David, a thousand years before the birth of Christ. (Word Meanings in the NT)

The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia adds that "thlipsis derives from roots that graphically portray the process in which a person is first limited, then walled in, and gradually squeezed until something must give. Sometimes the tribulation is seen as a punishment for sin (see note Romans 2:9), sometimes as a part of life to be expected and tolerated (Ro 12:2-note) (Bromiley, G. W. The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Revised. Wm. B. Eerdmans)

The picture of thlipsis is of one being squeezed. When you squeeze something, what comes out is what is on he inside. What comes out of you when you are experiencing "thlipsis"? Remember believers have Christ in them the hope of glory and therefore have the potential to exude the fragrance of His life when crushed.

Here in Romans 5 thlipsis is preceded by the definite article, marking these tribulations out as specific occurrences naturally expected in a Christian’s life. Paul did not exult because of the tribulations themselves but because of their beneficial effect upon his Christian life. This the saint must learn to do as we grow in grace, weathering the trial, learning to lean on and trust Him. The believer must look at his or her tribulations as "assets" that God uses to hone one's Christian character into Christ like conformity (1Pe 1:6-7-note). And so in context Paul says that thlipsis brings forth or accomplishes patience, proven character and hope.

William Barclay writes that thlipsis "In ordinary Greek always describes actual physical pressure on a man… Sometimes there falls upon a man’s spirit the burden and the mystery of this unintelligible world. In the early years of Christianity the man who chose to become a Christian chose to face trouble. There might well come to him abandonment by his own family, hostility from his heathen neighbours, and persecution from the official powers. Samuel Rutherford wrote to one of his friends, “God has called you to Christ’s side, and the wind is now in Christ’s face in this land: and seeing ye are with him ye cannot expect the lee-side or the sunny side of the brae.” It is always a costly thing to be a real Christian, for there can be no Christianity without its cross. (Ed note: i.e., thlipsis)" (Daily Study on 2 Corinthians 1 Commentary) (Bolding added)

In other notes Barclay writes that "thlipsis which originally expressed sheer, physical pressure on a man. There are things which weigh down a man’s spirit like the sorrows which are a burden on his heart and the disappointments which are like to crush the life out of him… Originally thlipsis meant simply pressure and could, for instance, describe the pressure of a great stone on a man’s body. At first it was used quite literally, but in the New Testament it has come to describe that pressure of events which is persecution. (Ibid)

Tribulation is the normal lot of Christians and is a fact repeatedly emphasized in the NT. In the first NT use, Jesus taught that thlipsis (affliction) comes because of the Word of God but that holding fast to the Word in the face of tribulation proves one to be genuine.

"And the one on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, this is the man who hears the Word, and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no firm root in himself, but is only temporary, and when affliction (thlipsis) or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he falls away." (Matthew 13:20-21)

Comment: William MacDonald explains that "The shallow earth yields a shallow profession; there is no depth to the root. But when his profession is tested by the scorching sun of tribulation or persecution, he decides it isn’t worth it and abandons any profession of subjection to Christ. (Believer's Bible Commentary)

Jesus warned that being one of His disciples in this world would bring its share of difficulties

These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation (thlipsis), but take courage; I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)

C H Spurgeon has the following devotional on John 16:33…

Art thou asking the reason of this, believer?

Look upward to thy heavenly Father, and behold him pure and holy. Dost thou know that thou art one day to be like Him? Wilt thou easily be conformed to His image? Wilt thou not require much refining in the furnace of affliction to purify thee? (1Pet 1:6, 7- see notes 1Pe1:6; 1:7) Will it be an easy thing to get rid of thy corruptions, and make thee perfect even as thy Father which is in heaven is perfect? (Mt 5:48 - notes)

Next, Christian, turn thine eye downward. Dost thou know what foes thou hast beneath thy feet? Thou wast once a servant of Satan, and no king will willingly lose his subjects. Dost thou think that Satan will let thee alone? No, he will be always at thee, for he "goeth about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour." (1Pe 5:8-note) Expect trouble, therefore, Christian, when thou lookest beneath thee.

Then look around thee. Where art thou? Thou art in an enemy's country, a stranger and a sojourner (1Pe 1:1-note; 1Pe 2:11-note). The world is not thy friend. If it be, then thou art not God's friend, for he who is the friend of the world is the enemy of God (Jas 4:4). Be assured that thou shalt find foe-men everywhere. When thou sleepest, think that thou art resting on the battlefield; when thou walkest, suspect an ambush in every hedge. As mosquitoes are said to bite strangers more than natives, so will the trials of earth be sharpest to you.

Lastly, look within thee, into thine own heart and observe what is there. Sin and self are still within (Ro 7:18-note). Ah! if thou hadst no devil to tempt thee, no enemies to fight thee, and no world to ensnare thee, thou wouldst still find in thyself evil enough to be a sore trouble to thee, for "the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked." (Jeremiah 17:9)

Expect trouble then, but despond not on account of it, for God is with thee to help and to strengthen thee. He hath said, "I will be with thee in trouble; I will deliver thee and honour thee." (Ps 91:15 - see "Heirs of heaven are conscious of a special divine presence in times of severe trial. God is always near in sympathy and in power to help his tried ones. The man honors God, and God honors him. Believers are not delivered or preserved in a way which lowers them, and makes them feel themselves degraded; far from it, the Lord's salvation bestows honour upon those it delivers. God first gives us conquering grace, and then rewards us for it. Spurgeon's Note)

Writing to the Thessalonian saints who had heard and received the gospel, Paul explained that

our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction; just as you know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake. You also became imitators of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much tribulation (thlipsis) with the joy of the Holy Spirit (1Th 1:5-6 - See notes 1Thessalonians 1:5; 1:6)

How did the Thessalonian believers bear up under emotionally crushing circumstances? Paul says that even though the tribulation was quantitatively great, they were empowered "with the joy of the Holy Spirit."

In his second epistle Paul commends the Thessalonian saints

for (their) perseverance and faith in the midst of all (their) persecutions and afflictions (thlipsis) which (they) endured." (2Thes 1:4)

Paul explained that God Himself, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort…

comforts (comes alongside of) us in all our affliction (thlipsis) so that (notice again how your affliction is not without purpose) we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God." (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)

From these uses of thlipsis in the NT, it is clear that tribulation is the path believers are destined to tread in this present life. Notice that thlipsis in the NT does not refer to the normal pressures of every day life, but to the inevitable troubles that come upon all followers of Christ because of their relationship with Him and His Word.

Luke records that after Paul was stoned in Lystra, he survived this "crushing event" and went on to Derbe with Barnabas and that…

after they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying, "Through many (polus = quantitatively = same word in description of Thessalonians above) tribulations (thlipsis) we must enter the kingdom of God." (Acts 14:21-22)

Commenting on Acts 14:22 Spurgeon writes that "It is ordained of old that the cross of trouble should be engraved on every vessel of mercy, as the royal mark whereby the King’s vessels of honour are distinguished. But although tribulation is thus the path of God’s children, they have the comfort of knowing that their Master has traversed it before them; they have his presence and sympathy to cheer them, his grace to support them, and his example to teach them how to endure; and when they reach “the kingdom,” it will more than make amends for the “much tribulation” through which they passed to enter it." (Morning and evening: Daily readings: Morning, March 8)

Writing to the Colossian saints, Paul said

Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake (refers to his present imprisonment), and in my flesh I do my share on behalf of His body (which is the church) in filling up that which is lacking in Christ's afflictions (thlipsis) (in that Paul was receiving the persecution that was intended for Christ)." (Col 1:24-note)

Paul's afflictions have no atoning value, for In Jesus’ death on the cross, the work of salvation was completed. It is also worth noting that , thlipsis is used nowhere in the New Testament to speak of Christ’s sufferings. Lawrence Richards adds that…

The Greek word thlipsis is not linked with social vulnerability. It focuses attention on external conditions as the cause of emotional pressures. Paul's thought in Colossians is that the afflictions and the suffering that have come to him in the course of his ministry should not be viewed as discipline or as punishment. Instead, such suffering is an extension of the suffering experienced by Jesus, for it comes from the same source. Following Jesus, Paul also willingly chose a course of action that would bring him into conflict with human society. We, too, have the privilege of making such choices, knowing that the pain that comes to us is far outweighed by the benefits our suffering will bring to others." (Richards, L O: Expository Dictionary of Bible Words: Regency) (Bolding added)

God promises that no matter how many or how great the tribulations we are called upon to endure for the sake of His Name and His Word. In Romans 8 Paul asks…

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation (thlipsis), or distress (stenochoria), or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? (Ro 8:35-note)

And then Paul answers that…

in all these things (thlipsis, et al) we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us, for I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (see notes Romans 8:37; 8:38; 8:39)

In light of eternity tribulations today are for a moment, are "light" and are continually working in us to produce an unimaginable eternal weight of glory for

Therefore I ask you not to lose heart at my tribulations (thlipsis) on your behalf, for they are your glory." (Eph 3:13-note)

And lest you be tempted to seek revenge for thlipsis suffered for the sake of the Lord and His Word, remember that

"after all it is only just for God to repay with affliction (thlipsis) those who afflict (verb thlibo) you, and to give relief to you who are afflicted (verb thlibo) and to us as well when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus." (2Thes 1:6-8) (cp identical use of thlipsis in notes on Ro 2:9-note)

Paul explained the inestimable value of temporal thlipsis when viewed with eternal vision, explaining that…

momentary, light affliction (thlipsis) is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen (e.g., our future glory) are eternal." (2 Corinthians 4:17-18-note).


In summary, the truth you need to remember regarding tribulations (thlipsis) is that

  1. tribulations have a purpose
  2. one's response to tribulations demonstrates the reality of one's faith
  3. temporal tribulations produce inestimable future, eternal glory
  4. God will avenge tribulations you have endured for His Name and Word

Trench's Synonyms of the New Testament

Thlipsis and stenochoria are often used together. In three of the four passages where stenochoria occurs in the New Testament, it is associated with thlipsis.The verbs thlibein (Strong's #2346) and stenochorein also are used together. Because stenochoria always occurs last whenever it is used with thlipsis, and because of the antithesis between these words in2 Corinthians 4:8, stenochoria appears to be the stronger of the two words, whatever their difference in meaning.

Thlipsis and stenochoria refer to the same thing under different images. Thlipsis properly means "pressure."1 could have said angor (anguish), since Cicero referred to this as "pressing grief," except that the connection of angor with the German Angst (anguish) and enge (narrow or confined) makes it more appropriate to reserve this word for stenochoria.

The proper meaning of stenochoria is "narrowness of room," "confined space," and the painfulness that is the result. "Narrow straits" (aporia stene) and stenochoria appear together in Isaiah 8:22. Thucydides used stenochoria literally (7.70). Sometimes stenochoria is used in place of dyschoria. Plutarch contrasted stenochoria with anesis (Strong's #425). In the Septuagint stenochoria refers to the straitness of a siege (Deuteronomy 28:53; Deuteronomy 28:57). It appears in a secondary and metaphorical sense once in the Old Testament"anguish [stenochoria] of spirit" (Wisd. ofSong of Song of Solomon 5:3) which is its only sense in the New Testament. The appropriateness of this image is attested by the frequency with which a state of joy is referred to in the psalms (and elsewhere) as a bringing into a large room. Whether Aquinas intended to provide an etymology (he probably did), he certainly uttered a truth when he said: "Joyfulness is like width."

The literal meaning of thlipsis is illustrated by the penalty prescribed by ancient English law for those who refused to plead: they were pressed and crushed to death by heavy weights that were placed on their chests. It was stenochoria when Tamerlane, who had vanquished Bajazet, carried him about in an iron cage. Since we do not know if Bajazet suffered because of his narrow confines, perhaps it would be better to refer to the oubliettes, in which Louis XI shut up his victims, or to the "little-ease" that was used to torture the Roman Catholics in Queen Elizabeth's reign: "It was of so small dimensions and so constructed that the prisoners could neither stand, walk, sit, nor lie in it at full length." In Romans 2:9 Paul said that both thlipsis and stenochoria would be the portion of the lost. (Trench's Synonyms)


(See quotes on suffering)

Oh, when we are journeying through the murky night and the dark woods of affliction and sorrow, it is something to find here and there a spray broken, or a leafy stem bent down with the tread of His foot and the brush of His hand as He passed; and to remember that the path He trod He has hallowed, and thus to find lingering fragrance and hidden strength in the remembrance of Him as "in all points tempted like as we are," bearing grief for us, bearing grief with us, bearing grief like us. - Alexander Maclaren

A believer may pass through much affliction, and yet secure very little blessing from it all. Abiding in Christ is the secret of securing all that the Father meant the chastisement to bring us. - Andrew Murray

Pour not on the comforts you want, but upon the mercies you have. Look rather at God's ending in afflicting, than to the measure and degree of your affliction.- Christopher Love

Vanity of science. Knowledge of physical science will not console me for ignorance of morality in time of affliction, but knowledge of morality will always console me for ignorance of physical science. - Blaise Pascal

The Lord gets his best soldiers out of the highlands of affliction. - Charles Spurgeon

As sure as God puts His children in the furnace of affliction, He will be with them in it. - Charles Spurgeon

It seems to me that doubt is worse than trial. I had sooner suffer any affliction than be left to question the gospel or my own interest in it.-Charles Spurgeon

Most of the grand truths of God have to be learned by trouble; they must be burned into us with the hot iron of affliction, otherwise we shall not truly receive them. - Charles Spurgeon

Providence is wonderfully intricate. Ah! You want always to see through Providence, do you not? You never will, I assure you. You have not eyes good enough. You want to see what good that affliction was to you; you must believe it. You want to see how it can bring good to the soul; you may be enabled in a little time; but you cannot see it now; you must believe it. Honor God by trusting Him. - Charles Spurgeon

The furnace of affliction is a good place for you, Christian; it benefits you; it helps you to become more like Christ, and it is fitting you for heaven. - Charles Spurgeon

Those who dive in the sea of affliction bring up rare pearls. - Charles Spurgeon

We can stand affliction better than we can prosperity, for in prosperity we forget God. - D.L. Moody

A great many people wonder why it was that Christ did not come at once to Martha and Mary, whom He loved, whenever He heard of their affliction. It was to try them, and it is the same with His dealings toward us. If He seems not to come to us in our affliction, it is only to test us. - D.L. Moody

Affliction is then come to the height and its complete measure, when the sinner is made sensible of his own weakness, and doth see there is no help for him, save in God alone. - David Dickson

Nothing unites people as sharing the same affliction. - Jack Hyles

As every mercy is a drop obtained from the ocean of God's goodness, so every affliction is a drachm weighed out in the wisdom of God's providence. - James H. Aughey

Hope is the last lingering light of the human heart. It shines when every other is put out. Extinguish it, and the gloom of affliction becomes the very blackness of darkness - cheerless and impenetrable. - James H. Aughey

It is not affliction itself, but affliction rightly borne, that does us good. - James H. Aughey

In times of affliction we commonly meet with the sweetest experiences of the love of God. - John Bunyan

A measure of trials is necessary for the exercise and manifestation of your graces; to give you a more convincing proof of the truth and sweetness of the promises made to a time of affliction; to mortify the body of sin; and to wean you more effectually from the world. - John Newton

If we suffer persecution and affliction in a right manner, we attain a larger measure of conformity to Christ, by a due improvement of one of these occasions, than we could have done merely by imitating his mercy, in abundance of good works. - John Wesley

The readiest way which God takes to draw a man to himself is, to afflict him in that he loves most, and with good reason; and to cause this affliction to arise from some good action done with a single eye; because nothing can more clearly show him the emptiness of what is most lovely and desirable in the world. - John Wesley

If the sun of God's countenance shine upon me, I may well be content to be wet with the rain of affliction. - Joseph Hall

Why should I ever resist any delay or disapointment, any affliction or oppression or humiliation - when I know God will use it in my life to make me like Jesus and to prepare me for heaven? - Kay Arthur

The agony of man's affliction is often necessary to put him into the right mood to face the fundamental things of life. The Psalmist says. Before I was afflicted I went astray; but now I have kept Thy Word. - Oswald Chambers

God's way of answering the Christian's prayer for more patience, experience, hope and love often is to put him into the furnace of affliction. - Richard Cecil

Faith makes all evil good to us, and all good better; unbelief makes all good evil, and all evil worse. Faith laughs at the shaking of the spear; unbelief trembles at the shaking of a leaf, unbelief starves the soul; faith finds food in famine, and a table in the wilderness. In the greatest danger, faith says, "I have a great God." When outward strength is broken, faith rests on the promises. In the midst of sorrow, faith draws the sting out of every trouble, and takes out the bitterness from every affliction. - Richard Cecil

Poverty and affliction take away the fuel that feeds pride. - Richard Sibbes

Affliction brings out graces that cannot be seen in a time of health. It is the treading of the grapes that brings out the sweet juices of the vine; so it is affliction that draws forth submission, weanedness from the world, and complete rest in God. Use afflictions while you have them. - Robert Murray McCheyne

Affliction shows the power of Christ's blood, when it gives peace in an hour of trouble, when it can make happy in sickness, poverty, persecution and death. Do not be surprised if you suffer, but glorify God.- Robert Murray McCheyneSource: Comfort in Sorrow, Peace, Happiness

When old companions, old lusts, and sins crowd in upon you, and when you feel that you are ready to sink, what can save you, sinking sinner? This alone - I have a high priest in heaven, and he can support in the hour of affliction. This alone can give you peace - I have a high priest in heaven. When you are dying - when friends can do you no good - when sins rise up like specters around your bed - what can give you peace? This - "I have a high priest in heaven" - Robert Murray McCheyne

When I am in the cellar of affliction, I look for the Lord's choicest wines. - Samuel Rutherford

Affliction doth not rise out of the dust or come to men by chance; but it is the Lord that sends it, and we should own and reverence His hand in it. - Thomas Boston

God intermixeth mercy with affliction: he steeps his sword of justice in the oil of mercy; there was no night so dark, but Israel had a pillar of fire in it; there is no condition so dismal, but we may see a pillar of fire to give light. If the body be in pain, conscience is in peace, --there is mercy: affliction is for the prevention of sin, --there is mercy. In the ark there was a rod and a pot of manna, the emblem of a Christian's condition, mercy interlined with judgment. - Thomas Watson

Affliction may be lasting, but it is not everlasting. Affliction was a sting, but withal a wing: sorrow shall soon fly away. - Thomas Watson

Oh, it is sad for a poor Christian to stand at the door of the promise, in the dark night of affliction, afraid to draw the latch, whereas he should then come boldly for shelter as a child into his father's house. - William Gurnall

There are some things good but not pleasant, as sorrow and affliction. Sin is pleasant, but unprofitable; and sorrow is profitable, but unpleasant. As waters are purest when they are in motion, so saints are generally holiest when in affliction. - William Secker

Afflictions are light when compared with what we really deserve. They are light when compared with the sufferings of the Lord Jesus. But perhaps their real lightness is best seen by comparing them with the weight of glory which is awaiting us. - A.W. Pink

What fools are we, then, to frown upon our afflictions! These, how crabbed soever, are our best friends. They are not indeed for our pleasure, they are for our profit. - Abraham Wright

Sanctified afflictions are like so many artificers working on a pious man's crown to make it more bright and massive.- Ralph Cudworth

The sorest afflictions never appear intolerable, but when we see them in the wrong light; when we see them in the hand of God, who dispenses them; when we know that it is our loving Father who abases and distresses us; our sufferings will lose their bitterness and become even a matter of consolation. - Brother Lawrence

Some people feel guilty about their anxieties and regard them as a defect of faith but they are afflictions, not sins. Like all afflictions, they are, if we can so take them, our share in the passion of Christ. - C.S. Lewis

There is no attribute of God more comforting to His children than the doctrine of Divine Sovereignty. Under the most adverse circumstances, in the most severe troubles, they believe that Sovereignty hath ordained their afflictions, that Sovereignty overrules them, and that Sovereignty will sanctify them all. - Charles Spurgeon

The highest honor that God can confer upon his children is the blood-red crown of martyrdom. The jewels of a Christian are his afflictions. The regalia of the kings that God has made, are their troubles, their sorrows, and their griefs. Griefs exalt us, and troubles lift us. - Charles Spurgeon

Afflictions are but the shadows of God's wings. - George Macdonald

Let your heart feel for the afflictions and distress of everyone, and let your hand give in proportion to your purse. - George Washington

Afflictions are but conductors to immortal life and glory. - James H. Aughey

The wisdom of God appears in afflictions. By these He separates the sin which He hates, from the son whom He loves. By these thorns He keeps him from breaking over into Satan's pleasant pastures, which would fatten him indeed, but only to the slaughter. - James H. Aughey

Afflictions make the heart more deep, more experimental, more knowing and profound, and so, more able to hold, to contain, and beat more. - John Bunyan

Afflictions have the same use and end to our souls, that frosty weather hath upon those clothes that are laid and bleaching, they alter the hue and make them white. - John Flavel

The more afflictions you have been under, the more assistance you have had for this life of holiness. - John Flavel

Do not be despondent when fighting against the incorporeal enemy, but even in the midst of your afflictions and oppression praise the Lord, Who has found you worthy to suffer for Him, by struggling against the subtlety of the serpent, and to be wounded for Him at every hour; for had you not lived piously, and endeavored to become united to God, the enemy would not have attacked and tormented you. - John of Kronstadt

Labour to grow better under all your afflictions, lest your afflictions grow worse, lest God mingle them with more darkness, bitterness and terror. - John Owen

One of the greatest evidences of God's love to those that love him is, to send them afflictions, with grace to bear them. - John Wesley

Even in the greatest afflictions, we ought to testify to God, that, in receiving them from his hand, we feel pleasure in the midst of the pain, from being afflicted by Him who loves us, and whom we love. - John Wesley

The most generous vine, if not pruned, runs out into many superfluous stems and grows at last weak and fruitless: so doth the best man if he be not cut short in his desires, and pruned with afflictions. - Joseph Hall

There is no enemy can hurt us but by our own hands. Satan could not hurt us, if our own corruption betrayed us not. Afflictions cannot hurt us without our own impatience. Temptations cannot hurt us, without our own yieldance. Death could not hurt us, without the sting of our own sins. Sins could not hurt us, without our own impenitence. - Joseph Hall

The godly man contrarily is afraid of nothing; not of God, because he knows Him his best friend, and will not hurt him; not of Satan, because he cannot hurt him; not of afflictions, because he knows they come from a loving God, and end in his good; not of the creatures, since "the very stones in the field are in league with Him;" not of himself, since his conscience is at peace. - Joseph Hall

No marvel if the worldling escape earthly afflictions. God corrects him not. He is base born and begot. God will not do him the favour to whip him. The world afflicts him not, because it loves him: for each man is indulgent to his own. God uses not the rod where He means to use the Word. The pillory or scourge is for those malefactors that shall escape execution. - Joseph Hall

Extraordinary afflictions are not always the punishment of extraordinary sins, but sometimes the trial of extraordinary graces. Sanctified afflictions are spiritual promotions. - Matthew Henry

The winter prepares the earth for the spring, so do afflictions sanctified prepare the soul for glory. - Richard Sibbes

Your afflictions may only prove that you are more immediately under the Father's hand. There is no time that the patient is such an object of tender interest to the surgeon, as when he is bleeding beneath his knife. So you may be sure if you are suffering from the hand of a reconciled God, that His eye is all the more bent on you. - Robert Murray McCheyne

God often lays the sum of His amazing providences in very dismal afflictions; as the limner first puts on the dusky colors, on which he intends to draw the portraiture of some illustrious beauty. - Stephen Charnock

Whoever be the instruments of any good to us, of whatever sort, we must look above them, and eye the hand and counsel of God in it, which is the first spring, and be duly thankful to God for it. And whatever evil of crosses or afflictions befalls us, we must look above the instruments of it to God. - Thomas Boston

Afflictions are but as a dark entry into our Father's house. - Thomas Brooks

What if we have more of the rough file, if we have less rust! Afflictions carry away nothing but the dross of sin. - Thomas Watson

Afflictions add to the saints' glory. The more the diamond is cut, the more it sparkles; the heavier the saints' cross is, the heavier will be their crown. - Thomas Watson

Knowing the truth concerning the deep workings of the evil spirit helps the individual not only to overcome sins but to eliminate unnecessary afflictions as well. - Watchman Nee

Few are made better by prosperity, whom afflictions make worse. - William Gurnall

What sorrow, troubles, and afflictions attend all the followers of the Lamb! - William Tiptaft


Matthew 13:21 yet he has no firm root in himself, but is only temporary, and when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he falls away.

Tribulation arises because of the Word and results in those who have no firm root falling away (they did not persevere -- it is not that they lost salvation - they never were truly saved) - (Mt 13:21, cp Mk 4:17).

Matthew 24:9 "Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name.

 Messianic Jewish commentator Arnold Fruchtenbaum as well as well known Bible teacher Kay Arthur feel that the "then" in Mt 24:9-note introduces a description of the last 3.5 years, but some see this use of thlipsis as referring to the entire 7 years period. It is probably best to not be too dogmatic.

 Matthew 24:21 "For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will.

See article on Great Tribulation

Matthew 24:29 "But immediately after the tribulation of those days THE SUN WILL BE DARKENED, AND THE MOON WILL NOT GIVE ITS LIGHT, AND THE STARS WILL FALL from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.

Mark 4:17 and they have no firm root in themselves, but are only temporary; then, when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately they fall away.

MacArthur points out that this affliction and persecution is "Not the routine difficulties and troubles of life, but specifically the suffering, trials, and persecutions which result from one’s association with God’s Word." The Gr. word (for fall away) also means “to cause offense,” from which comes the Eng. word “scandalize.” All those meanings are appropriate since the superficial believer is offended, stumbles, and falls away when his faith is put to the test (cf. Jn 8:31; 1Jn 2:19).

KJV Bible Commentary - As weather may ruin weak plants, adversity destroys those who base their faith On emotions. A person with a solid foundation would have counted the cost, which includes hardships and sacrifices as well as benefits.

William MacDonald - when tribulation or persecution arises because of his profession, he decides that the cost is too great and he abandons the whole thing. He claims to be a Christian as long as it is popular to do so, but persecution exposes his unreality.

Mark 13:19 "For those days will be a time of tribulation such as has not occurred since the beginning of the creation which God created until now, and never will.

See article on Great Tribulation

Mark 13:24 "But in those days, after that tribulation, THE SUN WILL BE DARKENED AND THE MOON WILL NOT GIVE ITS LIGHT,

John 16:21 "Whenever a woman is in labor she has pain, because her hour has come; but when she gives birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish because of the joy that a child has been born into the world.

 John 16:33 "These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world."

Acts 7:10 and rescued him from all his afflictions, and granted him favor and wisdom in the sight of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and he made him governor over Egypt and all his household.
 11 "Now a famine came over all Egypt and Canaan, and great affliction with it, and our fathers could find no food.
Acts 11:19 So then those who were scattered because of the persecution that occurred in connection with Stephen made their way to Phoenicia and Cyprus and Antioch, speaking the word to no one except to Jews alone.
Acts 14:22 strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying, "Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God."
Acts 20:23 except that the Holy Spirit solemnly testifies to me in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions await me.
Romans 2:9 There will be tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek,
Romans 5:3 And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance;

Spurgeon - I am certain that I never did grow in grace one-half so much anywhere as I have upon the bed of pain.

Romans 8:35 Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
Romans 12:12 rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer,
1 Corinthians 7:28 But if you marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. Yet such will have trouble in this life, and I am trying to spare you.
2 Corinthians 1:4 who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
 8 For we do not want you to be unaware, brethren, of our affliction which came to us in Asia, that we were burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life;
2 Corinthians 2:4 For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote to you with many tears; not so that you would be made sorrowful, but that you might know the love which I have especially for you.
2 Corinthians 4:17 For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison,
2 Corinthians 6:4 but in everything commending ourselves as servants of God, in much endurance, in afflictions, in hardships, in distresses,
2 Corinthians 7:4 Great is my confidence in you; great is my boasting on your behalf. I am filled with comfort; I am overflowing with joy in all our affliction.
2 Corinthians 8:2 that in a great ordeal of affliction their abundance of joy and their deep poverty overflowed in the wealth of their liberality.
 13 For this is not for the ease of others and for your affliction, but by way of equality--
Ephesians 3:13 Therefore I ask you not to lose heart at my tribulations on your behalf, for they are your glory.
Philippians 1:17 the former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition rather than from pure motives, thinking to cause me distress in my imprisonment.
Philippians 4:14 Nevertheless, you have done well to share with me in my affliction.
Colossians 1:24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I do my share on behalf of His body, which is the church, in filling up what is lacking in Christ's afflictions.
1 Thessalonians 1:6 You also became imitators of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much tribulation with the joy of the Holy Spirit,
1 Thessalonians 3:3 so that no one would be disturbed by these afflictions; for you yourselves know that we have been destined for this.
 7 for this reason, brethren, in all our distress and affliction we were comforted about you through your faith;
2 Thessalonians 1:4 therefore, we ourselves speak proudly of you among the churches of God for your perseverance and faith in the midst of all your persecutions and afflictions which you endure.
 6 For after all it is only just for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you,
Hebrews 10:33 partly by being made a public spectacle through reproaches and tribulations, and partly by becoming sharers with those who were so treated.
James 1:27 Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.
Revelation 1:9 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 2:9 'I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich), and the blasphemy by those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.
 10 'Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, so that you will be tested, and you will have tribulation for ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.
 22 'Behold, I will throw her on a bed of sickness, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of her deeds.
Revelation 7:14 I said to him, "My lord, you know." And he said to me, "These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.


Thlipsis - 99v in the Septuagint (LXX) 

Thilipsis translates a number of Hebrew words:

אֵיד ’êdh  Calamity (2 Sa 22:19).
דְּאָגָה dᵉ’āghāh  Trembling (Ezek 12:18).
לַחַץ lachats  Oppression (2 Kgs 13:4, Ps 44:24).
מְגוּרָה mᵉghûrāh , Fear (Ps 34:4).
מוּעָקָה mû‘āqāh  Burden (Ps 66:11).
מָצוֹק mātsôq  Distress (Dt 28:53).
מְצוּקָה mᵉtsûqāh  Anguish (Job 15:24).
מֵצַר mētsar  Distress (Ps 118:5).
עֳנִי ‘ŏnî  Affliction (Ex 4:31).
עֹצֶר ‘ōtser , Oppression (Ps 107:39).
עָקָה ‘āqāh  Oppression (Ps 55:3).
עשֶׁק ‘ōsheq  Extortion (Ezek 18:18).
צַר tsar  Distress (Dt 4:30, Ps 4:1).
צַר tsar  Enemy (Zec 8:10).
צָרָה tsārāh Distress, trouble (Ge 42:21, 2 Sa 4:9, Ob 12).
צָרַר tsārar Bind, oppress; hiphil: bring distress on (Jer 10:18).
רָעָה rā‘āh Affliction (Ps 34:19).
שׁוֹאָה shô’āh  Devastation (Isa 10:3).

Genesis 35:3 and let us arise and go up to Bethel, and I will make an altar there to God, who answered me in the day of my distress and has been with me wherever I have gone."
Genesis 42:21 Then they said to one another, "Truly we are guilty concerning our brother, because we saw the distress of his soul when he pleaded with us, yet we would not listen; therefore this distress has come upon us."
Exodus 4:31 So the people believed; and when they heard that the LORD was concerned about the sons of Israel and that He had seen their affliction, then they bowed low and worshiped.
Deuteronomy 4:29 "But from there you will seek the LORD your God, and you will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul.
Deuteronomy 28:53 "Then you shall eat the offspring of your own body, the flesh of your sons and of your daughters whom the LORD your God has given you, during the siege and the distress by which your enemy will oppress you.
 55 so that he will not give even one of them any of the flesh of his children which he will eat, since he has nothing else left, during the siege and the distress by which your enemy will oppress you in all your towns.
 57 and toward her afterbirth which issues from between her legs and toward her children whom she bears; for she will eat them secretly for lack of anything else, during the siege and the distress by which your enemy will oppress you in your towns.
Deuteronomy 31:17 "Then My anger will be kindled against them in that day, and I will forsake them and hide My face from them, and they will be consumed, and many evils and troubles will come upon them; so that they will say in that day, 'Is it not because our God is not among us that these evils have come upon us?'
Judges 10:14 "Go and cry out to the gods which you have chosen; let them deliver you in the time of your distress."
1 Samuel 1:6 Her rival, however, would provoke her bitterly to irritate her, because the LORD had closed her womb.
1 Samuel 10:19 "But you have today rejected your God, who delivers you from all your calamities and your distresses; yet you have said, 'No, but set a king over us!' Now therefore, present yourselves before the LORD by your tribes and by your clans."
1 Samuel 24:19 "For if a man finds his enemy, will he let him go away safely? May the LORD therefore reward you with good in return for what you have done to me this day.
1 Samuel 26:24 "Now behold, as your life was highly valued in my sight this day, so may my life be highly valued in the sight of the LORD, and may He deliver me from all distress."
2 Samuel 4:9 David answered Rechab and Baanah his brother, sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, and said to them, "As the LORD lives, who has redeemed my life from all distress,
2 Samuel 22:19 "They confronted me in the day of my calamity, But the LORD was my support.
1 Kings 1:29 The king vowed and said, "As the LORD lives, who has redeemed my life from all distress,
1 Kings 22:27 and say, 'Thus says the king, "Put this man in prison and feed him sparingly with bread and water until I return safely."'"
2 Kings 13:4 Then Jehoahaz entreated the favor of the LORD, and the LORD listened to him; for He saw the oppression of Israel, how the king of Aram oppressed them.
2 Kings 19:3 They said to him, "Thus says Hezekiah, 'This day is a day of distress, rebuke, and rejection; for children have come to birth and there is no strength to deliver.
2 Chronicles 15:6 "Nation was crushed by nation, and city by city, for God troubled them with every kind of distress.
2 Chronicles 18:26 and say, 'Thus says the king, "Put this man in prison and feed him sparingly with bread and water until I return safely."'"
2 Chronicles 20:9 'Should evil come upon us, the sword, or judgment, or pestilence, or famine, we will stand before this house and before You (for Your name is in this house) and cry to You in our distress, and You will hear and deliver us.'
Nehemiah 9:27 "Therefore You delivered them into the hand of their oppressors who oppressed them, But when they cried to You in the time of their distress, You heard from heaven, and according to Your great compassion You gave them deliverers who delivered them from the hand of their oppressors.
 37 "Its abundant produce is for the kings Whom You have set over us because of our sins; They also rule over our bodies And over our cattle as they please, So we are in great distress.
Esther 1:1 Now it took place in the days of Ahasuerus, the Ahasuerus who reigned from India to Ethiopia over 127 provinces,
Esther 4:17 So Mordecai went away and did just as Esther had commanded him.
Esther 8:12 on one day in all the provinces of King Ahasuerus, the thirteenth day of the twelfth month (that is, the month Adar).
Job 15:24 "Distress and anguish terrify him, They overpower him like a king ready for the attack,
Psalm 4:1 For the choir director; on stringed instruments. A Psalm of David. Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have relieved me in my distress; Be gracious to me and hear my prayer.
Psalm 9:9 The LORD also will be a stronghold for the oppressed, A stronghold in times of trouble;
Psalm 10:1 Why do You stand afar off, O LORD? Why do You hide Yourself in times of trouble?
Psalm 20:1 For the choir director. A Psalm of David. May the LORD answer you in the day of trouble! May the name of the God of Jacob set you securely on high!
Psalm 22:11 Be not far from me, for trouble is near; For there is none to help.
Psalm 25:17 The troubles of my heart are enlarged; Bring me out of my distresses.
 22 Redeem Israel, O God, Out of all his troubles.
Psalm 32:7 You are my hiding place; You preserve me from trouble; You surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah.
Psalm 34:6 This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him And saved him out of all his troubles.
 17 The righteous cry, and the LORD hears And delivers them out of all their troubles.
 19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the LORD delivers him out of them all.
Psalm 37:39 But the salvation of the righteous is from the LORD; He is their strength in time of trouble.
Psalm 44:24 Why do You hide Your face And forget our affliction and our oppression?
Psalm 46:1 For the choir director. A Psalm of the sons of Korah, set to Alamoth. A Song. God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.
Psalm 50:15 Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I shall rescue you, and you will honor Me."
Psalm 54:7 For He has delivered me from all trouble, And my eye has looked with satisfaction upon my enemies.
Psalm 55:3 Because of the voice of the enemy, Because of the pressure of the wicked; For they bring down trouble upon me And in anger they bear a grudge against me.
Psalm 59:16 But as for me, I shall sing of Your strength; Yes, I shall joyfully sing of Your lovingkindness in the morning, For You have been my stronghold And a refuge in the day of my distress.
Psalm 60:11 O give us help against the adversary, For deliverance by man is in vain.
Psalm 66:11 You brought us into the net; You laid an oppressive burden upon our loins.
 14 Which my lips uttered And my mouth spoke when I was in distress.
Psalm 71:20 You who have shown me many troubles and distresses Will revive me again, And will bring me up again from the depths of the earth.
Psalm 77:2 In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord; In the night my hand was stretched out without weariness; My soul refused to be comforted.
Psalm 78:49 He sent upon them His burning anger, Fury and indignation and trouble, A band of destroying angels.
Psalm 81:7 "You called in trouble and I rescued you; I answered you in the hiding place of thunder; I proved you at the waters of Meribah. Selah.
Psalm 86:7 In the day of my trouble I shall call upon You, For You will answer me.
Psalm 91:15 "He will call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him.
Psalm 107:39 When they are diminished and bowed down Through oppression, misery and sorrow,
Psalm 108:12 Oh give us help against the adversary, For deliverance by man is in vain.
Psalm 116:3 The cords of death encompassed me And the terrors of Sheol came upon me; I found distress and sorrow.
Psalm 118:5 From my distress I called upon the LORD; The LORD answered me and set me in a large place.
Psalm 119:143 Trouble and anguish have come upon me, Yet Your commandments are my delight.
Psalm 138:7 Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me; You will stretch forth Your hand against the wrath of my enemies, And Your right hand will save me.
Psalm 142:2 I pour out my complaint before Him; I declare my trouble before Him.
Psalm 143:11 For the sake of Your name, O LORD, revive me. In Your righteousness bring my soul out of trouble.
Proverbs 1:27 When your dread comes like a storm And your calamity comes like a whirlwind, When distress and anguish come upon you.
Proverbs 21:23 He who guards his mouth and his tongue, Guards his soul from troubles.
Proverbs 24:10 If you are slack in the day of distress, Your strength is limited.
Isaiah 8:22 Then they will look to the earth, and behold, distress and darkness, the gloom of anguish; and they will be driven away into darkness.
Isaiah 10:3 Now what will you do in the day of punishment, And in the devastation which will come from afar? To whom will you flee for help? And where will you leave your wealth?
 26 The LORD of hosts will arouse a scourge against him like the slaughter of Midian at the rock of Oreb; and His staff will be over the sea and He will lift it up the way He did in Egypt.
Isaiah 26:16 O LORD, they sought You in distress; They could only whisper a prayer, Your chastening was upon them.
Isaiah 28:10 "For He says, 'Order on order, order on order, Line on line, line on line, A little here, a little there.'"
 13 So the word of the LORD to them will be, "Order on order, order on order, Line on line, line on line, A little here, a little there," That they may go and stumble backward, be broken, snared and taken captive.
Isaiah 30:6 The oracle concerning the beasts of the Negev. Through a land of distress and anguish, From where come lioness and lion, viper and flying serpent, They carry their riches on the backs of young donkeys And their treasures on camels' humps, To a people who cannot profit them;
 20 Although the Lord has given you bread of privation and water of oppression, He, your Teacher will no longer hide Himself, but your eyes will behold your Teacher.
Isaiah 33:2 O LORD, be gracious to us; we have waited for You. Be their strength every morning, Our salvation also in the time of distress.
Isaiah 37:3 They said to him, "Thus says Hezekiah, 'This day is a day of distress, rebuke and rejection; for children have come to birth, and there is no strength to deliver.
Isaiah 57:13 "When you cry out, let your collection of idols deliver you. But the wind will carry all of them up, And a breath will take them away. But he who takes refuge in Me will inherit the land And will possess My holy mountain."
Isaiah 63:9 In all their affliction He was afflicted, And the angel of His presence saved them; In His love and in His mercy He redeemed them, And He lifted them and carried them all the days of old.
Isaiah 65:16 "Because he who is blessed in the earth Will be blessed by the God of truth; And he who swears in the earth Will swear by the God of truth; Because the former troubles are forgotten, And because they are hidden from My sight!
Jeremiah 6:24 We have heard the report of it; Our hands are limp. Anguish has seized us, Pain as of a woman in childbirth.
Jeremiah 10:18 For thus says the LORD, "Behold, I am slinging out the inhabitants of the land At this time, And will cause them distress, That they may be found."
Jeremiah 11:16 The LORD called your name, "A green olive tree, beautiful in fruit and form"; With the noise of a great tumult He has kindled fire on it, And its branches are worthless.
Jeremiah 15:11 The LORD said, "Surely I will set you free for purposes of good; Surely I will cause the enemy to make supplication to you In a time of disaster and a time of distress.
Jeremiah 50:43 "The king of Babylon has heard the report about them, And his hands hang limp; Distress has gripped him, Agony like a woman in childbirth.
Ezekiel 12:18 "Son of man, eat your bread with trembling and drink your water with quivering and anxiety.
Ezekiel 18:18 "As for his father, because he practiced extortion, robbed his brother and did what was not good among his people, behold, he will die for his iniquity.
Daniel 12:1 "Now at that time Michael, the great prince who stands guard over the sons of your people, will arise. And there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time; and at that time your people, everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued.
Hosea 5:15 I will go away and return to My place Until they acknowledge their guilt and seek My face; In their affliction they will earnestly seek Me.
Hosea 7:12 When they go, I will spread My net over them; I will bring them down like the birds of the sky. I will chastise them in accordance with the proclamation to their assembly.
Obadiah 1:12 "Do not gloat over your brother's day, The day of his misfortune. And do not rejoice over the sons of Judah In the day of their destruction; Yes, do not boast In the day of their distress.
 14 "Do not stand at the fork of the road To cut down their fugitives; And do not imprison their survivors In the day of their distress.
Jonah 2:2 and he said, "I called out of my distress to the LORD, And He answered me. I cried for help from the depth of Sheol; You heard my voice.
Micah 2:12 "I will surely assemble all of you, Jacob, I will surely gather the remnant of Israel. I will put them together like sheep in the fold; Like a flock in the midst of its pasture They will be noisy with men.
Nahum 1:7 The LORD is good, A stronghold in the day of trouble, And He knows those who take refuge in Him.
 9 Whatever you devise against the LORD, He will make a complete end of it. Distress will not rise up twice.
Nahum 2:1 The one who scatters has come up against you. Man the fortress, watch the road; Strengthen your back, summon all your strength.
Habakkuk 3:16 I heard and my inward parts trembled, At the sound my lips quivered. Decay enters my bones, And in my place I tremble. Because I must wait quietly for the day of distress, For the people to arise who will invade us.
Zephaniah 1:15 A day of wrath is that day, A day of trouble and distress, A day of destruction and desolation, A day of darkness and gloom, A day of clouds and thick darkness,
Zechariah 8:10 'For before those days there was no wage for man or any wage for animal; and for him who went out or came in there was no peace because of his enemies, and I set all men one against another.