God's Wrath Released [Revelation 8]
1 When he opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.2 And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them. 3 Another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all God's people, on the golden altar before the throne. 4 The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of God's people, went up before God from the angel's hand. 5 Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and hurled it on the earth; and there came peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning and an earthquake.
Since the time of Noah, people have continued to live sinful lifestyles. All of us have deserved to be destroyed, however, God has held back His wrath and destruction against sin for all these years so that many might be saved through the man Jesus. And here we see that same Jesus breaking the seals on the book that releases God's burning wrath upon the world. However, the release of God's anger is not chaotic like a man's. We see a well orchestrated, well controlled and orderly sequence of destructive events. Even in His judgment and wrath, God is in control and still compassionate and He is listening to the prayers of His people as a sweet fragrance.
Some people believe that Christians will not have to go through this 7 year time of tribulation, some think we will be taken up halfway through, while others believe we will have to go through all 7 years. I don't know who is right. While I hope we will get to miss all of the tribulation, I want to be ready to stand firm for the Lord if I have to be here for part or all of what God has planned for this time. I know He loves me and will take me through whatever by His grace.
It is easy to be afraid of these terrible events, however, fear destroys faith. God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and a sound and healthy mind (2 Timothy 1:7). When we experience fear, which we will, God says to humble ourselves before Him and cast our cares upon Him because He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7).
God we praise You that you are Sovereign and in control even in releasing Your wrath against sin. Cause us to acknowledge our fear of the future and to cast it on You. Cause us to believe that you do care for us.