[ahh… no wonder…]

I, John, your brother and fellow partaker in the tribulation and kingdom and perseverance which are in Jesus…

Revelation 1:9 NASB

John begins his letter to the church regarding his vision recorded in Revelation with an introduction of himself… connecting with his readers as brother… and fellow partaker… in the tribulation… Kingdom… and perseverance… in Christ…

Wait a minute…! fellow partaker in THE tribulation… in Christ…?!

Remember the red dragon…? the spiritual nemesis of Jesus who is out to destroy Him…? and His followers…?

Well… he is the one causing all the tribulation… the great tribulation… in which we live…

The great tribulation is not something in the unforeseen future… it is NOW…

I believe that’s what John reveals to the Church in his introduction of himself…

In Christ… all of us… are currently fellow participants… in the tribulation… Jesus’s Kingdom… and His perseverance…

I read through Revelation just before Christmas… wrapping up a three year journey through the Bible with some sisters… fellow Believers… and when I read John’s description of who he is… and who we are in Christ… it was a major Aha moment…!

We hear about the great tribulation… it’s coming at some unknown time… and many Believers worry and fret… wanting to be prepared… hoping to be swept up in the clouds before it comes… but really… I think John is telling us we’re already in the midst of it…

And if that’s true… well… by golly… that explains a lot…!

Aha-Revelation-Tribulation-Jeremiah's Menu[Photo by Jason Leung on Unsplash]

No wonder life is so hard… most things a struggle… especially when it comes to living by faith as He calls us to…

loving our enemies…

dying to self…

being sure of everything we don’t see…!

The enemy wants us to look ahead with fear… dread what is coming… and just be perplexed and whiny about what we are experiencing now…

There are preachers who preach the gospel as a means of prosperity in the world… peace… joy… security…. and if it’s not playing out that way for you… well then you just don’t have enough faith…

But the truth is… we live in a world at war… in the very midst of the tribulation whose arrival we dread… It’s here…!

Now that’s a revelation…

John reminds us… we enter this tribulation in Christ… right alongside all other Believers… we are not in this alone…

And that’s not all… in Christ we also gain His Kingdom… we live in the eternal NOW… and even though we still walk this world… we are not a part of its rules and ways…

I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. — Jesus in prayer to His Father for all Believers

John 17:14-17 ESV

His Word and Kingdom power are available to us now… in the tribulation we entered into when we entered into Him by faith…

But wait… there’s more…

Perseverance… steadfastness… stamina…

In Christ… we also share His perseverance which kept Him on the cross… which keeps Him holding all things together… while He waits for all who are coming to Him to come…

Really… recognizing in Christ we are already in the great tribulation… and in His Kingdom… and with access to His endurance… really helps a lot…

It is a perspective which explains so much… and keeps us focused on the right things…

It’s not necessarily something we’ve done wrong when nothing goes right… it’s simply part of living in the great tribulation…

Really… we should expect things to be tough and often go wrong… but utterly amazed… filled with thanks-giving when things go smoothly…

Oh… we waste so much time and energy wondering what went wrong… then complaining about it ad nauseum… rather than seeing it for what it is… WAR…!

After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” … Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, “Who are these clothed in white robes, and from where have they come?” I said to him, “Sir, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. …”

Revelation 7:9-10, 13-14

Clearly… this is a description of all Believers… all coming out of the great tribulation…

The great tribulation isn’t coming… it’s here… we’re in it… it’s continuing… but only for a moment… not forever…

Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be dominion forever and ever. Amen.

1Peter 5:8-11 ESV

[See…? doesn’t this even make more sense…? seeing it from the perspective of already being in the great tribulation…?

Just sayin’… Ahh… no wonder…!]

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