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WHENEVER in history the Church is faithful to its calling and bears testimony concerning the truth, tribulation is bound to follow. Apart even from this fact, the Church is in the world. Accordingly it suffers along with the world. Children of God do not escape the horrors of war, famine, and pestilence. The Church needs these tribulations. It needs both the direct antagonism of the world and participation in the common woes that pertain to this earthly life as a result of sin. The Church, too, is sinful. It is in constant need of purification and sanctification.

These tribulations, therefore, are employed by our Lord as an instrument for our own spiritual advancement. We see God’s footstool. Let us not forget His throne! To be sure, we say that to them that love God all things work together for good; but do we really believe it? Sometimes we speak and act as if the control of events and the destiny of the world rested in the hands of men instead of in the hands of God. Chapters 4 and 5, however, supply the needed correction and bring us a vision of the throne which rules the universe.

In the midst of trial and tribulation may our gaze be towards the One who is King of kings and Lord of lords.

 William Hendriksen, More than Conquerors: An Interpretation of the Book of Revelation (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1967), 81.