Our Troubled World

Horrified, shocked, saddened. We close our eyes and shake our heads, repulsed at the horrors that took place in Orlando—mass murder, and a toddler overcome by an alligator. A hate-filled perpetrator, combined with unspeakable tragedy, leaves us feeling vulnerable and fearful and confused. Our chaotic world spins out of control. How much more can we endure? When will it all end?

In troubled times, we turn to the Scriptures to find God’s words of affirmation, instruction and comfort. This word trouble is the Greek word thlipsis, also translated tribulation, affliction, hardships, distress. It’s used over forty times in the New Testament, and I give you a sampling here in the following verses.

What does God want us to know during these troubled times?

• Trouble in this world is guaranteed. Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble…” John 16:33.
• “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God.” Acts 14:22
• John identifies himself as “your brother and companion in the suffering and kingdom and patient endurance that are ours in Jesus…” Revelation 1:9
• We should expect “days of distress unequaled from the beginning, when God created the world, until now…” Mark 13:19

What instructions do we find for troubled times?

• Strengthen and encourage the followers of Jesus so they will not be unsettled by these trials 1Thess 3:3.
• “Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer.” Revelation 2:10.
• Seek your comfort in God, and then comfort others with the comfort you have received. 2 Corinthians 1:4.
• “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12

What assurances does God give us for troubled times?

• “God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you and give relief to you who are troubled…” 2 Thessalonians 1:6-7
• “Take heart. I have overcome the world” John 16:33.
• “What can separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? …No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” Romans 8:35, 37.

Why doesn’t Jesus come back now and rescue this sick world?

The answer is not the one we want but it gives us reason to persevere. Jesus’ delay is for the rescue of the lost. His delay gives more time for unbelievers to come to faith in Jesus.
• “He wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” 1 Timothy 2:4
• “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise (to return). He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9

In the meantime: With every tragic event, we must look beyond it with eyes of faith, trusting that God has a bigger purpose we cannot see. “we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:17-18.

Please share your thoughts and words of encouragement from the Scriptures.

6 comments to Our Troubled World

  • Amy Calvetti

    This past month has been a tough one for me with the sudden passing of my mom. Then comes the senseless violence and tragedy in Orlando. Life has become overwhelming at times in the last month for me. The words you write help that small flame of hope inside me to keep burning. We can’t hide or prevent trouble from entering our lives. We can only try to prepare ourselves to withstand trouble when it arrives.

    Ephesians 6: 10-20 tells use to put on the full armor of God. This armor will help use survive the trouble when it arrives. I’m thankful we have a loving God who is always working & waiting for us with open arms.

    • Hi Amy, It’s difficult to deal with both personal tragedy and national tragedy at the same time. And yet God’s Word remains our steady anchor. Thank you for the reminder about the armor of God. We have protection in the storms of life.

  • Carmen Cole

    This post was excellent and most comforting. We know we live for a world to come and this one is temporary. May we all endure to the end.

    • Hi Carmen, Great reminder about where our true home is. Perseverance is the challenge which is why we need to help each other through the rough spots.

  • Barb

    I have set the LORD continually before me; Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore, my heart is glad and my glory rejoices. . . (Psalm 16:8-9a; Acts 2:25-28) Only in the Lord can we keep from being shaken by all the shaking that is going on. Thank you Janet for posting this awesome collection of Scriptures to encourage us.

    • Hi Barb, Psalm 16 is such an encouragement. We can not only endure, but have joy in the process. If we could only see what God sees we would not be shaken. That’s why he gives us glimpses in his word.