Great post by Lex!
I would add that one of the main reasons for Jacob’s Trouble (interesting — it’s not called Judah’s trouble, or Israel’s trouble, but JACOB’s Trouble — ALL twelve tribes) is the RESTORATION and bringing together of the two sticks — Judah and Ephraim AND their companions … this is GOD’s Heart! Spoken and prophesied about throughout the Scriptures … EXCITING!
Be ENCOURAGED — MANY blessings!
Hope in Times of Tribulation
I was asked by a friend why I have so much hope about the Tribulation, and this was my response to him. I thought that it might also give other people encouragement as well, so I decided to share it. I know tribulation is a difficult thing for people to understand. Just the thought of ”end times”, “last days”, “tribulation”, etc. can all be very overwhelming and scary. This is where faith really becomes important.
First, I have hope because I TRUST God. This is very important. It is easy to trust God when things are easy, but when persecution or famine or war is upon us, it becomes very easy to loose our faith. As important as it is to have your tent ready, I believe that it is more important for us to be spiritually prepared for tribulation than it is for us to be physically prepared, because when things get difficult, we will have to trust God, or we will fall away. (Just like many in the first exodus did)
“As for God, His way is perfect; The word of the Lord is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him.” (2 Samuel 22:31)
“The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” (Psalm 18:2)
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding;In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
“Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; ‘For Yah, the Lord, is my strength and song; He also has become my salvation.’” (Isaiah 12:2)
Second, I have hope because I know what to expect. The Bible tells us in great detail about what will happen during the 42 months of tribulation. This means that we are not going in blind. We have hope because this means God is in control. We were told about these events thousands of years ago because God is in control. I have no reason to fear something that God has selected for me to experience.
“But I am the Lord your God, Ever since the land of Egypt; I will again make you dwell in tents, As in the days of the appointed feast. 10 I have also spoken by the prophets, And have multiplied visions; I have given symbols through the witness of the prophets.” (Hosea 12:9-10)
“Surely the Lord God does nothing, Unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets.” (Amos 3:7)
“Remember the former things of old, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things that are not yet done, Saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, And I will do all My pleasure,’ Calling a bird of prey from the east, The man who executes My counsel, from a far country. Indeed I have spoken it; I will also bring it to pass. I have purposed it; I will also do it.” (Isaiah 46:9-11)
Third, I have hope because the Messiah is coming back. This is the most exciting thing about it! I rejoice because I am living in the days when the Messiah will return! That is the most exciting time in the history of the world. I will get to see the Return of the King! I will get to see the Kingdom of God in its fullness. I am living in the grand finale, the climax of world history, the culmination of all Biblical prophecy! This is the days that the prophets yearned for. Abraham, Moses, and the prophets will ask us what it was like to live in these days.
“After this I will return And will rebuild the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down; I will rebuild its ruins, And I will set it up; So that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord, Even all the Gentiles who are called by My name, Says the Lord who does all these things.” (Acts 15:16-17)
Fourth, I have hope because God will lead us. Just as God provided food and water in the desert for 40 years during the first exodus, so also God will provide for our needs during this time.
“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever.” (Psalm 23)
Fifth, I have hope because of the resurrection. Even if I am tortured and killed for my faith, I know that when Messiah returns, I will be resurrected from the dead. This gives me great hope! The enemy can do nothing to me that my God cannot restore.
Yeshua said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.” (John 11:25)
“For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the chief angel, and with God’s shofar. The dead in Messiah will rise first” (1 Thessalonians 4:16)
“I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Yeshua, and for the word of God, and such as didn’t worship the beast nor his image, and didn’t receive the mark on their forehead and on their hand. They lived, and reigned with Messiah one thousand years. The rest of the dead didn’t live until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over these, the second death has no power, but they will be Kohanim of God and of Messiah, and will reign with him one thousand years.” (Revelation 20:4-6)
Sixth, I have hope because I know that the tribulation is God’s plan. It is not the plan of the enemy, it is the will of the Father Himself! This is most encouraging, because all good things come from God.
So, we can see that the tribulation is in fact a good thing. It has two purposes:
- to rid the world of sin and evil
“tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek; but glory, honor, and peace to everyone who works what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” (Romans 2:9-10)
- to purify and strengthen God’s people
“And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope.” (Romans 5:3-4)
It is the “refiner’s fire” that will destroy the evil, and strengthen and sharpen whatever is left.
“But who can endure the day of his coming? Who can stand when he appears? For he will be like a refiner’s fire or a launderer’s soap.” (Malachi 3:2)
Just as in the days of Noah, God purged the world of evil, but delivered those who remained faithful to Him.
“As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.” (Matthew 24:37)
We have hope, because we are the ones who will be on the Ark. We are the ones who follow the deliverer. We follow the only God who is able to save.
What about those who have no hope?
I have heard Christians (who believe in the “rapture”) say that they “could not believe in a god who would allow his people to face tribulation“. These are the people who will grumble and fall away during hard times. They are fair-weather Christians, and will turn away from God when times get too difficult.
Who are the people that fall away during tribulation?
“But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles.” (Matthew 24:9)
We are indeed living in exciting times, and I hope that these words have given you hope as well. I would like to leave you with one final word of encouragement.
“Who shall separate us from the love of Messiah? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? … For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Messiah Yeshua our Lord.” (Romans 8:35-39)