Summary: To find peace In the midst of your tribulation, see the Holy God on His throne and surrender to Him.
Some time ago, I came across a list of statements that describe our lives at times. They're actually restatements of the old Murphy's Law.
* Nothing is as easy as it looks.
* Everything takes longer than you think. &
* If anything can go wrong it will.
Sometimes life gets so bad you think
* Murphy was an optimist.
Here are some more (maybe you can relate):
* The other line always moves faster.
* The chance of the bread falling with the peanut butter and jelly side down is directly proportional to the cost of the carpet.
* Inside every large problem is a series of small problems struggling to get out.
* Whatever hits the fan will not be evenly distributed.
* The repairman will never have seen a model quite like yours before.
* Friends come and go, but enemies accumulate.
* The light at the end of the tunnel is the headlamp of an oncoming train.
* Beauty is only skin deep, but ugly goes clear to the bone.
Life has its troubles, but these are nothing compared to the time of tribulation coming to this earth, as described in the book of Revelation. We’re beginning a new series of messages today – a series on the book of Revelation. It’s a great opportunity to invite your friends, as we explore God’s perspective on current events in light of what He says about the future.
Revelation tells us that there is coming to this earth a time of tribulation such as we have never seen. From the human perspective it looks like a time of total chaos, but there is a divine perspective, a heavenly perspective that helps us understand not only the Tribulation to come, but also the tribulations we face in our every-day lives.
Revelation 4:1 After this I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven! And the first voice, which I had heard speaking to me like a trumpet, said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this” (ESV) – i.e., after the church age described in chapters 2 & 3.
Jesus is speaking to the Apostle John, and He invites him to see the future from Heaven's perspective.
Revelation 4:2 At once [John says] I was in the Spirit, and behold, a throne stood in heaven, with one seated on the throne. (ESV)
The 1st thing John sees is Someone sitting on a throne. In the midst of great tribulation, John sees that Someone is in charge. Someone is in control, and that’s what we need to see when there is turmoil and tribulation on this earth. That’s what we need to see when there is turmoil and tribulation in our lives.
SEE THAT GOD IS SOVEREIGN.
Understand that God has everything under control. Realize that our Lord is still on His throne.
Over 100 years ago, a tornado struck the prairies of Minnesota. Many were killed, hundreds were injured, and one small town was almost demolished. In the midst of the disaster, an elderly British surgeon and his two medically trained sons worked almost around the clock for days aiding the stricken, bandaging wounds, and setting broken limbs.
Their heroic work did not go unnoticed. Their excellence as physicians and their selflessness in the service of those in need created a following among the tornado victims. The doctor and his sons were offered financial backing to build a hospital, provided that they took charge.
The men agreed and in 1889 founded a clinic that soon attracted nationwide attention. Their little clinic grew.
The city was Rochester, Minnesota.
The elderly doctor’s name: William W. Mayo.
His sons: William J. and Charles Mayo.
Their clinic is called simply “The Mayo Clinic.” It now consists of over 500 physicians treating more than 200,000 people a year. It is known worldwide as one of the premier places of health, healing and excellence in medicine.
I’m sure if you asked the citizens of Minnesota about the Rochester tornado at the time, they would have said it was all about death and destruction, an unqualified disaster.
But in the perspective of better than a century, and in the hands of our Sovereign God, the tornado was really about life, help, and healing. (J. R. Love, Rushton, Louisiana; www.PreachingToday.com)
God is always up to something good, even in the tragedies of our lives. Our great and glorious God still reigns no matter what happens.
Revelation 4:3 And he who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian, and around the throne was a rainbow that had the appearance of an emerald. (ESV)
God shines with a brilliance that can hardly be described. The author uses three of the most valuable stones he can think of to describe the beauty of our Lord. He uses the diamond white jasper, the ruby red carnelian, and the bright green emerald. Our Sovereign is a God of glory!