Lesson Ten • Tribulation

Devotion 4: Certain Hope

John Stone


Life is full of uncertainty. It seems like every day we are peppered with more and more dire news predicting the downfall of society and the end of the world. If we let it, all this messaging can leave us feeling on edge, nervous, and helpless. In a similar way, reading through the book of Revelation, or The Apocalypse as it was traditionally called, we can find ourselves confused by the symbolism, overwhelmed by all the death and suffering, and perhaps a little relieved that none of it seems to be imminent. Scholars have spent lifetimes attempting to match timelines and meanings and rarely if ever, agreeing with one another. “Prophets” on the best-seller list continue extorting Christians, claiming to decipher events that God has not chosen to reveal. All of these can culminate in a feeling of uncertainty.


“There is nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9). The longer I study the Bible, the more clearly I see the same pattern repeating itself from Genesis through Revelation: rejection – warning – judgment – restoration. Ultimately, that is what this story is about: God’s warning given to men due to their rejection of Jesus Christ, His final judgment on sin, and His restoration of all things. For some, this is a terrifying story. For the one who has faith in Jesus Christ, it is a story of hope. How can hope be found in the midst of this apocalypse? There is hope because Jesus Christ is worthy to open the book and break the seals! (Revelation 5) Jesus, the One who is without sin, can cast the first stone (John 8) to remove the corruption from His creation and make all things new (Revelation 21:5). The hands that open the seals are the very same hands that held the little children (Matthew 19:13-15) and opened blind eyes (John 9:6). They are the same hands that were nailed to the cross of Calvary for your sins and my sins. They are the same hands that hold us now and no one can remove us from them (John 10:28-29; Romans 8:35-39). There is nothing uncertain about that.


“But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” Luke 21:28 (NASB)