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Sunday: Hope in the Time of Trouble — 25 Comments

  1. This is an old folk story so you may have heard or read it before, but I think it fits this week’s lesson.

    A farmer advertised the position for a farm hand to help him in the chores around his farm. Only one young man applied for the job and the farmer was a bit dubious about taking him on.

    The farmer asked him what he was good at. To which the young man replied.” I sleep well when the wind blows!” The farmer was a bit perplexed by this answer so asked several other questions, but each time he received the same enigmatic reply. Finally, and somewhat reluctantly, he gave the job to the young man. There were no other applicants and there were tasks that were getting a bit urgent.

    Time went by and the young pan turned out to be a good worker. He learned quickly, used his initiative and was very thorough and efficient in his work.

    Then one night a north-easterly storm blew in with gale-force winds and the farmer knew he had to act quickly to ensure that the buildings were secured and the animals safe. He raced up the stairs to the young man’s bedroom and knocked loudly on the door. There was no response. The door was locked and so in his frustration the famer decided to attend to the chores himself. He made his way to the haystack expecting to see hay blown all over the paddock. Instead, the haystack stood firm, covered by a taut tarpaulin secured by 4 solid posts. He then went to the barn and found that the main door had been properly secured. Entering the little side door, he found all the animals were in their proper pens and had been supplied with food and water.

    It was then that he remembered the lad’s only qualification, “I sleep well when the wind blows!”

    I don’t think I need to tell you the spiritual application.

  2. I remember reading that story to my children from the Bedtime story books. I would never have thought to link it to the time of trouble. Thank you, it’s fits well.

  3. "During the time of trouble, our faith strengthens and our longing for eternity increases so that our one desire is to live forever with Jesus." Am I going on this direction? Do the troubles I'm going through right now make me long to be with my Savior, or do they simply push me away from hope?

  4. We have nothing to fear of the future, except we forget how God has led us in the past.

    My settled determination is to follow Jesus all the rest of my days so that when He comes I will not be found wanting!!!!

  5. Psalm 91:11 "For He shall give His Angels charge over you to keep you in all your ways." We are safe in Him & never alone when we have entered into His rest (Exodus 33:14). Praise God!

  6. My mother gave the same story but the young man said “ I can sleep on stormy nights.” She then pointed out that if we put our trust in Jesus we would be able to be at peace when all around is falling apart .In truth I have not always lived with such confidence. May God help us all to live with the assurance that God will always protect us as we trust HIM.

  7. I question the idea that God's people will have to live during the time of trouble "Without a Mediator." I do not believe that the words of the Apostle Paul in Hebrews 7:25 will not apply to God's people then, "...He ever lives to make intercession for them," (us). He "Ever Lives" He will be very much alive and interceding for us then too!

    • Pete, do you genuinely believe that when Christ returns to take His followers home, He will, at the same time, still act as High Priest to intercede for their sins?

      Do you believe that the redeemed will sin throughout all eternity, thus needing Christ's intercession?

      Those are logical extensions of your claim that Christ will always be interceding for sinners.

      By contrast, I believe that before Christ returns, His followers will be so tight with Jesus, that nothing can induce them to leave His side and act contrary to His will. They won't need an intercessor!

      The lesson author puts it very well:

      In the time of trouble, God’s people have a personal relationship with Jesus so deep that nothing can change it. Their consummate desire is to please Him in all things so that, through the work of the Holy Spirit, they will be as pure as He is pure. .l.

      ... Jesus ceases His mediation in heaven’s sanctuary when everyone has made their final decision for or against Him. But this does not mean we are alone during this time, trusting our own strength. Jesus has assured us He will be with us always (Matthew 28:20). Faith trusts when it cannot see and believes even when the world around us is falling apart.

      The Holy Spirit will never leave Christ's saints, and He will keep them safe without a Mediator.

    • One nice thought and I believe 2 Thessalonians 2:7 implys with the help of Hebrews 7:25, that the righteous will still have the Holy Spirit, however He will withdraw from those who have turned away to there own inclinations. You might say they have returned back to 'Egypt' to there own gods of wood, clay, silver, and gold. Joshua 24:15.

  8. Maurice shared what is to me a profound statemen - “I sleep well when the wind blows;” remaining calm, being able to be 'still', in the middle of the time of trouble.
    If one focuses on ‘works of obedience’, one might find that there remain insecurities about the ability to withstand the ‘shaking’. If one thinks that 'security' is found in the ‘denomination or numbers of believers’, it also will proof to be too weak to withstand the pressures of the ‘winds of strife’ once being released by the angels.

    I believe that the only place of security for a Christian experiencing times of trouble is found in our deep, personal relationship with the Creator, our God. But this relationship needs to be established before the ‘storm’ arrives which threatens 'to tear down the building or harm the animals'. After having done the 'prearing', then we can say: “I sleep well when the wind blows.”

    Suggestions for how to be prepared:
    Psalm 91:1-2 – “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress; my God, in Him I will trust.”
    John 8:29 - ”And He who sent me is with Me. The Father has not left me alone, for I always do those things that please Him.”
    John 14:30 - ”I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in Me.”
    Rev.3:11 - ”Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown.

  9. We often theorise that the time of trouble can’t happen yet. We construct a rigid set of events, and convince ourselves these must happen first and in order, believing that when they do, we will know and get ready. Because of our history of interpreting prophecy and constructing detailed scenarios, our own pre-conceived notions tend to overshadow anyone else’s reality.

    From July 1st, employers in Greece can insist that employees work during Sabbath hours. Employers demanded the right to keep employees at work for longer hours each day, and for six days a week. Their government has determined that the economy rules over workers rights.

    Students of WWII history (and those who survived it) know that in Germany our church leadership sided with the government against church members who refused to work on Sabbath. Our church disfellowshipped, and eventually assisted the government to identify and imprison those former members who would not work on Sabbath, or would not bear arms, and any member with Jewish heritage. Many lost their lives because they chose to remain faithful to God. (References, see below)

    Each of us is responsible to God. In the final crisis we cannot rely on viral videos, church personalities, great evangelists, or church organisations to save us. When everyone around us fails, we will be alone with God. Now is the time for us to learn to depend on Him completely.

    An SDA perspective of WWII Germany:
    J. Harold Alomia, "Fatal Flirting: The Nazi State and the Seventh-day Adventist Church", Digital Commons @ Andrews University, 2010, https://digitalcommons.andrews.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1042&context=jams

    A short essay;
    "Seventh Day Adventists", by Corrie Schroder

    • Thank you Russell for the timely reminder of an almost forgotten period in Seventh-day Adventist History. The references are worth reading and give a valuable insight into the interaction of church and state in difficult times. It is also a valuable reminder to us in a time where once again the interaction of politics and church are being blurred.

  10. Thank you Pete for the opportunity to test my belief to see if my understanding of the scriptures, though sincere may be in error: if that is the case, then certainly that belief ought to be immediately discarded,for truth cannot be mixed in error, and still be truth. It becomes that golden cup that poisons all who even take a sip of it.
    The value of prophecy and revelation is that God's people will be prepared for the challenging times ahead. Let us heed the example of the disciples found in Luke 18:33,34
    and Luke 9:45-46. If the disciples had listened, and if not understanding, persisted in exercising their mind to understand the prophecies of Jesus, then they wouldn't have been so discouraged as recorded in Luke 24: 20,21.
    The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; 21 but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place.
    (Notice that instead of revealing Himself to them, He opened their minds to understand the prophecies concerning Himself.) Ought not we we to do the same as we prepare for His second coming? In Revelation 15, the entire chapter, are revealed future events, but notice verse 8
    "And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power; and no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled."
    This event perfectly corresponds to the Day of Atonement found in Leviticus 16. It is important to note that there is a conclusion to the service. When the temple of God is filled with smoke that one one can enter, that will be the conclusion of the Devine "Yom Kippur" the most holiest of time for God's people. Never again will the stain of sin enter that Holy Place. The great pronouncement of Revelation 22:10,11 will forever close the door to salvation for those who consistently reject the warning of confession and repentance. As we see society devolve further and further into the days of Noah, (Matthew 24: 37-39) we ought to remember the scripture, "My Spirit shall not always strive with man" Genesis 6:3
    Pete? I earnestly look forward to seeing your response. Am I in error in my understanding?

  11. When I think about the time of trouble, I'm so frightened but it's so good to see that the same God who warn us about the future give us comfort in His Word. Hallelujah!


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