“We must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.” – Paul
This series will be written over the course of the next 8 months.
God’s kingdom will be full of people who passed through much tribulation yet kept the faith.
The scriptures are clear that there will be a period of tribulation before Jesus Christ comes again and that we’ll have to pass through it (we’ll not get delivered from having to face it). After that great tribulation comes a period of knowledge and joy so glorious that all the prophets have looked forward to it since our early fathers.
In other words, the patience and humility and faithfulness that will be built within us, along with the amazing millennium, are worth the challenges we’ll face.
Can you imagine the degree of gratitude that we’ll feel for our Savior when He comes again? And I feel certain that each of us who is faithful during such challenging times will not feel ashamed in His presence.
Part 1 – Water
“What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? . . .
These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. . . .
They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat.
For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.” – Revelation of John Chapter 7
The righteous thirst after righteousness. God, being good, obliges by giving those who thirst after righteousness fountains of living water.
Thirst is a powerful thing. We can live weeks without food but only days without water. We have to return frequently to water to drink. We can’t escape it. But what of “spiritual” water? Consider this:
There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink. . . .
Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.
Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.
The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water?
Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle?
Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again:
But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” – John 4
I want to ask you a question. It’s one of those questions meant to cause you to think deeply with introspection.
What if, when the great tribulation began, you were cut off from all your family, your church group, your friends, and your co-workers? What if all you had to rely on was you? How would that affect your faith and your faithfulness?
When others aren’t around to remind you and encourage you, do you continue in the faith or do you become apathetic or uninterested in spiritual things?
This question is probably the most important question anyone has asked you in a long time. Your honest answer should give you evidence of whether or not Jesus is your living water. And if Jesus is not your living water, how will you be ready to pass through tribulation?
Tribulation has a way of making a person feel isolated, even when friends are nearby. When you feel all alone, will your love for Jesus Christ and your testimony of Him sustain you? It can, but only if it exists within you.
I have two recommendations for preparation for the tribulation and subsequently Jesus Christ’s return.
Ask Jesus for Living Water
How does someone do this?
I don’t know what the answer is for each individual. I do know how it’s happened for me, and I think some of my insights are applicable to people generally.
1. Be Fertile Ground
I’ve learned that Jesus likes to plant seeds of faith in fertile ground. He’s not a big waster.
I’ve prayed for blessings or answers to questions and not received an immediate blessing or answer. When I decide to have faith anyway and let the Lord do His thing, I find that as time passes He prepares my “ground” for the blessings I seek. Then, if I am willing to be molded by Him, He is willing to bless me (when I’m prepared) with the righteous things I seek.
So the first thing is to be fertile ground and to be patient and willing to be molded by God. If you’re like me and are a tough nut to crack, that process might require a lot of time. But with patience and faith, even the most difficult people can become fertile ground.
Repent. I love the word. It’s one of my favorite words. It’s a loving word that brings hope. And repentance is a loving process that connects us with our one true reason for hope: Jesus Christ and His atonement.
When you become fertile ground and then sincerely repent, you will find connection with Jesus more powerful and more transforming than anything else I know of.
Through repentance, you’ll find Jesus Christ’s forgiving love. As you hold to that and let it fill you, and as you grow in your love for the Savior, He will become a source of living water within you that you will take with you everywhere you go.
You will need to keep the pump primed. You can do that through repentance, prayer, feasting on the scriptures, service, obedience to God’s laws, and by being quick to graciously forgive others who trespass against you.
Go to the Store for Drinking Water
This might seem out of place. After all, this post has been mostly about spiritual things so far. But temporal preparedness has a direct connection to spiritual preparedness.
Just like we shouldn’t rely on others for our necessary connection to Jesus Christ as our source of living water, we also shouldn’t rely solely on others for our connection to drinking water when tribulation comes.
A lot of us have some kind of supply of food, but I believe few of us have a supply of water. (See guidance on food storage.)
I suppose a reason is that even though water is relatively inexpensive, it’s heavy and hard to store without taking up a ton of room.
Even so, we should store some water anyway.
Try buying a case of bottled water every time you go to the grocery store until you’ve built up a supply big enough to last a few weeks at least. Then, start using it and cycling it out. Each time you use a case, buy a new one to replace it.
A case of drinking water costs a couple bucks. That’s all. It’s cheap and should be quite simple. It’s one of the most important preparations we can possibly make for things like natural disasters or civil unrest.
Prepare for Tribulation
Tribulation is coming. It’s not wise to procrastinate our preparations. Our preparations need to become as much a part of our lives as showering, or laundry, or employment. We do those things because we feel the need. We want to be clean, to wear fresh clothes, and to have money to provide the necessities of life. Do we feel the need to be prepared for tribulation?
I feel strongly about being prepared for tribulation and the return of Jesus Christ. It’s not something to fear, but it is something to prepare for and look forward to.
When the tribulation starts, how much time will we have to get our houses and our lives in order? Probably not much, if any. But if we’ve already put in the work, we’ll be ready to do all God asks of us. Then we’ll press on through the tribulation and be prepared to receive our King.
“Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened . . . And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect.” – Matthew