This article was first published on the Revive Israel website
here on December 1st 2017 and on the Kehila News website
here on December 8th 2017.
When we speak about "tribulation",
many think immediately about end times scenarios. However, we also need to
look at our general attitude toward adversity. Let's ask the question,
"How is the normal believer to react to times of trouble?"
Asher Intrater Director - Tikkun International & Revive Israel
The New Covenant Greek word thlipsis is translated as "tribulation,
affliction, trouble, anguish, persecution, burden and pressure." It appears
45 times in the text. From a simple survey of the references:
7 do not seem to be relevant to this question;
38 speak of being strengthened, helped, encouraged and rescued in times of
0 times is there a promise that a believer will not encounter adversity, or
that he will be removed from the world for the purpose of not dealing with
The Hebraic equivalent is
and is translated similarly as "trouble, affliction, adversity, anguish,
tribulation, tightness." It appears 73 times in the Law and Prophets. From a
3 do not seem to be relevant to our question;
1 indicates being removed or avoiding;
69 times crying out to God, being protected, rescued, and strengthened in
times of trouble.
Much of the prayer in Psalms is crying out to God during adversity. The
Hebraic concept of salvation is a rescuing and protection during attacks from
One of the aspects of our faith is dealing with times of trouble. God is
particularly present in times of trouble (Psalm 46:1, 91:15). Since the
prevailing world culture is immoral, the normative experience for people
wanting to walk in righteousness is to have to face difficulty.
One of my concerns about the "pre-tribulation rapture" teaching is not only
its incorrect eschatology, but the general attitude about dealing with
adversity. This attitude seems to ignore the following: Faith helps us in the
midst of difficulties. God rescues during trials and tribulations.
Character is developed by dealing with difficult situations in faithfulness
and patience. Revivals are often accompanied by persecution.
What Seed Are You?
Some form of adversity will inevitably come to us all. A person who does not
know how to respond to adversity will be like the "second" seed of Yeshua's
parable in Matthew 13:21, "When tribulation or persecution arises
because of the word, he immediately falls because he has no root; but only
endures for a while."
Both "pre-tribulation rapture" and "comfort only" - type messages are
creating believers without root or character, who will not be able to endure
during the difficult days ahead of us. Many will fall away quickly, as in
Yeshua's parable. Responding to adversity by faith and knowing God's power
for day-to-day deliverance are critically important for our generation.
"... confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue
in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the
kingdom of God" (Acts 14:22).
The message of the whole Bible gives us tremendous strength for times of
adversity. We have victory in the midst of difficulty; not avoidance of
to support the vision of Revive Israel.
There have been comments to this article ...
4:48pm 01Feb18, Kathy: Thank you for these insights. I have had so many challenges and
troubles in the last five years or so I must be of sterling
character. A little humor can't hurt, I should say.
8:03pm 01Feb18, SR: Thank you for the encouragement. I have been going through it
for a long time and get afraid it will never end, or want to
quit. You encourage us to continue to endure ...
8:18am 02Feb18, Miriam Maranzenboim: I'm so glad you mention the "pre-tribulation rapture" idea.
Wouldn't it be helpful to hear preaching on the last 1/2 of the
book of Daniel? W.A. Criswell spoke well about "Jacob's Trouble."
I have his message on a CD. Better to prepare for the worst than
to expect the "comfort" & it doesn't come.
6:41am 09Feb18, NH: I am very encouraged and uplifted as I read this article. I have
been through some real tough times and God has walked with me as
I clung to Him through it all.
7:01am 09Feb18, Ruth: Ah ... this is what I was thinking of when reading Dan's comments
about CHURCH. I asked God why all the churches I have visited
(relatives attend) last year are having so many problems. I felt
a response: I will be testing them to see if they truly walk
with ME. The church in America is going to go through some real
difficult times in the future. You are right - the comfort
theology makes wimpy Christians. Walk Faithfully.
Let us know what you think - why not comment to this
The authors of these articles are often involved
in intense ministry and are thus unable to respond to all
comments. As is normal with print and online magazines,
Tikkun reserves the right to publish only those comments we
feel are edifying in tone and content.
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