Have you ever been afraid of the future? Have you chosen to follow Jesus and then come to a fuller realization of what that really means? “Though to Jordan’s rolling billows, cold and deep?” And as you consider your future experience, does your spine begin to tingle, a dark gloomy shadow envelope you, and your heart tremble and sink with fear?
Jacob’s trouble. How few really know what it is about. From the Great Controversy:
The “time of trouble, such as never was,” is soon to open upon us; and we shall need an experience which we do not now possess and which many are too indolent to obtain. It is often the case that trouble is greater in anticipation than in reality; but this is not true of the crisis before us. The most vivid presentation cannot reach the magnitude of the ordeal. In that time of trial, every soul must stand for himself before God. (GC 622)
What an experience! It will be far worse than we can even anticipate – far beyond our worst imaginings. Sometimes when we consider where our path is heading, we become tempted to give up the race.
The Scriptures speak of this experience.
Woe unto you that desire the day of the LORD! to what end is it for you? the day of the LORD is darkness, and not light. As if a man did flee from a lion, and a bear met him; or went into the house, and leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent bit him. Shall not the day of the LORD be darkness, and not light? even very dark, and no brightness in it? Amos 5:18-20
This is the future we have to look forward to. A day of darkness, even very dark, and no light in it.
We have enough trials and enough tribulations as it is. Already at times our heart feels like fainting. How can we endure such a time? Even just thinking about it makes us scared. We become afraid to go any further in our Christian walk, if this is where it is leading. And despondency like a thick, gloomy cloud settles over us.
Did you know that Jesus felt the same way when He contemplated the future?
A human body and a human mind were His. (3SM 129)
I want us to read Desire of Ages page 624. And here is Jesus as He has related His mission to the Greeks who came enquiring, “We would see Jesus”. Read this very carefully.
The message of the Greeks, foreshadowing as it did the gathering in of the Gentiles, brought to the mind of Jesus His entire mission. The work of redemption passed before Him, from the time when in heaven the plan was laid, to the death that was now so near at hand. A mysterious cloud seemed to enshroud the Son of God. Its gloom was felt by those near Him. He sat rapt in thought. At last the silence was broken by His mournful voice, “Now is My soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save Me from this hour?” In anticipation Christ was already drinking the cup of bitterness. His humanity shrank from the hour of abandonment, when to all appearance He would be deserted even by God, when all would see Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. He shrank from public exposure, from being treated as the worst of criminals, from a shameful and dishonored death. A foreboding of His conflict with the powers of darkness, a sense of the awful burden of human transgression, and the Father’s wrath because of sin caused the spirit of Jesus to faint, and the pallor of death to overspread His countenance. (DA 624)
As He thought of His future, in anticipation Christ was already drinking the cup of bitterness. Just the thought it caused the spirit of Jesus to faint, and the pallor of death to overspread His countenance.
Isn’t Jesus so precious, that He would take upon Him OUR human nature?
But let’s keep reading, and learn of Jesus.
Then came divine submission to His Father’s will. “For this cause,” He said, “came I unto this hour. Father, glorify Thy name.” Only through the death of Christ could Satan’s kingdom be overthrown. Only thus could man be redeemed, and God be glorified. Jesus consented to the agony, He accepted the sacrifice. The Majesty of heaven consented to suffer as the Sin Bearer. “Father, glorify Thy name,” He said. As Christ spoke these words, a response came from the cloud which hovered above His head: “I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.” Christ’s whole life, from the manger to the time when these words were spoken, had glorified God; and in the coming trial His divine-human sufferings would indeed glorify His Father’s name. (DA 624)
This is awesome. This mysterious cloud had descended upon Jesus, and its gloom was felt by even those around Him. Yet, when Jesus submitted to the future experience, the voice of the Father came from that gloomy cloud that hovered about His head.
As the voice was heard, a light darted from the cloud, and encircled Christ, as if the arms of Infinite Power were thrown about Him like a wall of fire. The people beheld this scene with terror and amazement. No one dared to speak. With silent lips and bated breath all stood with eyes fixed upon Jesus. The testimony of the Father having been given, the cloud lifted, and scattered in the heavens. For the time the visible communion between the Father and the Son was ended. (DA 625)
Light comes out of the cloud! That which seemed so gloomy, so dark, so despondent, the Father was in it!
Let’s read Isaiah 45:15 so that we can gain a clearer appreciation.
Verily thou art a God that hidest thyself, O God of Israel, the Saviour. Isaiah 45:15
God hides. And we need to FIND Him.
Oh, for living, active, faith! We need it; we must have it, or we shall faint and fail in the day of trial. The darkness that will then rest upon our path must not discourage us, or drive us to despair. It is the veil with which God covers His glory when He comes to impart rich blessings. We should know this by our past experience. In that day when God has a controversy with His people, this experience will be a source of comfort and hope. (CET 190)
God hides in the darkness! He makes the things that seem so gloomy, so despondent, His hiding place. He wants to bless us, but we would be killed by His personal glory, and so hides Himself in the darkness so that we are not consumed by His brightness. We need to learn this now. And if we do, then when we pass through that dark day, we will have comfort and hope. Jesus is here with me. And He will bless me.
The path to freedom from sin is through crucifixion of self, and conflict with the powers of darkness. Let none be discouraged in view of the severe trials to be met in the time of Jacob’s trouble, which is yet before them. They are to work earnestly, anxiously, not for that time, but for today. What we want is to have a knowledge of the truth as it is in Christ now, and a personal experience now. In these precious closing hours of probation, we have a deep and living experience to gain. We shall thus form characters that will ensure our deliverance in the time of trouble. (OHC 321.2)
This again reiterates for us that if we make NOW a personal experience with Jesus, then there is no need for us to become discouraged in view of Jacob’s trouble. We are to work for today, not tomorrow, but our experience TODAY must be a preparation for tomorrow. It is now that we are to learn that the darkness is the “veil with which God covers His glory when He comes to impart rich blessings.”
Job was a man who passed through an experience similar to the faithful in the last days. And how much did he want to be released from his experience! Things were not going as he would have liked them to go.
When I looked for good, then evil came unto me: and when I waited for light, there came darkness. Job 30:26
All he wanted was some comfort, some light in his experience. Do you think that God heard his prayer? God had declared Job to be righteous, and the “prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” (James 5:16) So of course God heard his prayer. But how did He answer it? Darkness came. Evil came.
God calls for us to hide ourselves when the time of trouble comes.
Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. Isaiah 26:20
What does it mean to hide myself?
For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock. Psalm 27:5
To hide myself means to avail myself of God’s offering to hide me. But where will He hide me? In His pavilion, in the secret of His tabernacle. And what about that?
Psalm 18 gives us a revelation the experience of those who in the last days have been faithful to their calling. And the heathen are angry with them and want to kill them. And so they cry day and night to God for help. And God hears their prayer.
I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies. The sorrows of death compassed me, and the floods of ungodly men made me afraid. The sorrows of hell compassed me about: the snares of death prevented me. In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears. Psalm 18:2-6
God’s people are hedged in with difficulties. The wicked are seeking to remove them from the face of the earth. And so they cry out to God. Help us! And in the heavenly sanctuary Jesus hears their cries. Then, probation closes, He leaves the sanctuary, and comes to their help.
Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations also of the hills moved and were shaken, because he was wroth. There went up a smoke out of his nostrils, and fire out of his mouth devoured: coals were kindled by it. He bowed the heavens also, and came down: and darkness was under his feet. And he rode upon a cherub, and did fly: yea, he did fly upon the wings of the wind. He made darkness his secret place; his pavilion round about him were dark waters and thick clouds of the skies. At the brightness that was before him his thick clouds passed, hail stones and coals of fire. The LORD also thundered in the heavens, and the Highest gave his voice; hail stones and coals of fire. Yea, he sent out his arrows, and scattered them; and he shot out lightnings, and discomfited them. Then the channels of waters were seen, and the foundations of the world were discovered at thy rebuke, O LORD, at the blast of the breath of thy nostrils. He sent from above, he took me, he drew me out of many waters. He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them which hated me: for they were too strong for me. They prevented me in the day of my calamity: but the LORD was my stay. He brought me forth also into a large place; he delivered me, because he delighted in me. Psalm 18:7-19
What is the hiding place of God? Where will He hide His people in the time of trouble? In His pavilion and the secret of His tabernacle. And where is that? Verse 11 again: He made darkness his secret place; his pavilion round about him were dark waters and thick clouds of the skies.
God’s pavilion is dark waters and thick clouds, and His secret place is the darkness. And this is where He will hide us – in the darkness with Him.
Have you found Him yet?
It is in the dark experiences of our lives, that God comes to visit us in mercy. He hides us in those horrible experiences, and those horrible experiences themselves, are God’s hiding place as He comes to impart rich blessings.
Let’s read Psalm 31:19, 20 to more fully appreciate this.
Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men! Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence from the pride of man: thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues. Psalm 31:19-20
God hides us in the darkness from the pride of man and the strife of tongues. Whose pride do we have to fear the most? Isn’t it MY pride? My love of self?
When we find ourselves in situations that are overwhelming, where you cannot see the way out, can self flourish? Is there anything there that can feed the pride? No. You come to the realization that I just cannot. “I can’t”. And when you come to a point where you are constrained to acknowledge that you are in such a mess that you just cannot get yourself out of it, self is wounded, and we look to God for strength. And so those dark chapters of our lives are the precious experiences whereby God is teaching us to rely on Him. He is hiding us from ourselves because He knows that with our own strength we will never make it to be with Him in heaven.
The time of trouble is the crucible that is to bring out Christlike characters. It is designed to lead the people of God to renounce Satan and his temptations. The last conflict will reveal Satan to them in his true character, that of a cruel tyrant, and it will do for them what nothing else could do, uproot him entirely from their affections. For to love and cherish sin, is to love and cherish its author, that deadly foe of Christ. When they excuse sin and cling to perversity of character, they give Satan a place in their affections, and pay him homage. (OHC 321.3)
We say that we love Jesus and hate Satan, but while we are still committing sin, we are testifying to the fact that Satan still has a place in our hearts. I don’t want Satan to have a place in my heart. He caused my Saviour so much suffering. And still causes, when I sin. And so God, in answer to the desires of my heart, will bring me to an experience that is called Jacob’s trouble, so that Satan can be uprooted from my affections. Praise Him!
Yes, we must have a perfect character by the time that probation closes, but still my earthliness needs to be removed, and so Jacob’s experience will do for us what nothing else can do. It is the answer to our prayers.
Until Christ was crucified upon the cross, the beings of the universe did not have a true appreciation of Satan’s character. But when Satan hung the Son of God on Calvary, he revealed his true nature to them, and was completely uprooted from their affections. We need the same – to have Satan uprooted from our affections. But we weren’t there when Jesus died upon the cross. We didn’t see it like the universe did. Therefore we need to have an experience in our own lives that will enable us to understand the experience of Jesus.
Jesus said to His disciples: Ye shall indeed drink of the cup that I drink of; and with the baptism that I am baptized withal shall ye be baptized. Mark 10:39
So that we can understand more fully the nature of Satan as it was revealed in the death of Christ, we will be partakers of the same experience.
To have Satan uprooted from our affections is an honour. It is a privilege. It is our heart’s desire. “Nearer still nearer” is our prayer. Jacob’s trouble is the answer. Our self is in the image of Satan. He is the epitome of pride. And so in order for Satan to be uprooted from our affections, we must come to a point where self is totally renounced. By bringing us into Jacob’s trouble, self withers and dies, because there is nothing in that experience that can feed it. “I can’t. Help me Lord.”
Jesus hides us in the darkness. And in that darkness, He is hiding Himself, so that He can be with us in our experience.
Let’s have a look at His experience and compare it with the experience of those who shall go through that “dark day”.
Upon Christ as our substitute and surety was laid the iniquity of us all. He was counted a transgressor, that He might redeem us from the condemnation of the law. The guilt of every descendant of Adam was pressing upon His heart. The wrath of God against sin, the terrible manifestation of His displeasure because of iniquity, filled the soul of His Son with consternation. All His life Christ had been publishing to a fallen world the good news of the Father’s mercy and pardoning love. Salvation for the chief of sinners was His theme. But now with the terrible weight of guilt He bears, He cannot see the Father’s reconciling face. The withdrawal of the divine countenance from the Saviour in this hour of supreme anguish pierced His heart with a sorrow that can never be fully understood by man. So great was this agony that His physical pain was hardly felt.
Satan with his fierce temptations wrung the heart of Jesus. The Saviour could not see through the portals of the tomb. Hope did not present to Him His coming forth from the grave a conqueror, or tell Him of the Father’s acceptance of the sacrifice. He feared that sin was so offensive to God that Their separation was to be eternal. Christ felt the anguish which the sinner will feel when mercy shall no longer plead for the guilty race. It was the sense of sin, bringing the Father’s wrath upon Him as man’s substitute, that made the cup He drank so bitter, and broke the heart of the Son of God. (DA 753)
This is an amazing experience that Jesus passed through. His internal, mental suffering was so intense that He hardly felt the physical pain. Satan is there wringing His heart so that Jesus could not see though the portals of the tomb. Jesus did not even have any hope over ever coming out of that experience!
When the death decree is passed in the near future, the people of God will then be plunged into those scenes of affliction and distress described by the prophet as the time of Jacob’s trouble. “Thus saith the Lord: We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace. . . . All faces are turned into paleness. Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.” Jeremiah 30:5-7. (GC 616)
Satan will wring the heart of the faithful too.
Though God’s people will be surrounded by enemies who are bent upon their destruction, yet the anguish which they suffer is not a dread of persecution for the truth’s sake; they fear that every sin has not been repented of, and that through some fault in themselves they will fail to realize the fulfillment of the Saviour’s promise: I “will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world.” Revelation 3:10. If they could have the assurance of pardon they would not shrink from torture or death; but should they prove unworthy, and lose their lives because of their own defects of character, then God’s holy name would be reproached. (GC 619)
Like Jesus, their mental agony will eclipse their external experience. They will even be afraid to die! The martyrs that have gone before us could go to the grave singing because they had the comfort of God’s presence and approbation. But these faithful ones will not. They have no assurance of pardon. As they review their past and see how they have failed and been a reproach to the cause of God, their hopes sink.
Had not Jacob previously repented of his sin in obtaining the birthright by fraud, God would not have heard his prayer and mercifully preserved his life. So, in the time of trouble, if the people of God had unconfessed sins to appear before them while tortured with fear and anguish, they would be overwhelmed; despair would cut off their faith, and they could not have confidence to plead with God for deliverance. But while they have a deep sense of their unworthiness, they have no concealed wrongs to reveal. Their sins have gone beforehand to judgment and have been blotted out, and they cannot bring them to remembrance. (GC 620)
Yet to human sight it will appear that the people of God must soon seal their testimony with their blood as did the martyrs before them. They themselves begin to fear that the Lord has left them to fall by the hand of their enemies. (GC 630)
The faithful will fear that God has left them! “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken me?”
It is a time of fearful agony. Day and night they cry unto God for deliverance. The wicked exult, and the jeering cry is heard: “Where now is your faith? Why does not God deliver you out of our hands if you are indeed His people?” But the waiting ones remember Jesus dying upon Calvary’s cross and the chief priests and rulers shouting in mockery: “He saved others; Himself He cannot save. If He be the King of Israel, let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe Him.” Matthew 27:42. Like Jacob, all are wrestling with God. Their countenances express their internal struggle. Paleness sits upon every face. Yet they cease not their earnest intercession. (GC 630)
Let us return to Calvary.
With amazement angels witnessed the Saviour’s despairing agony. The hosts of heaven veiled their faces from the fearful sight. Inanimate nature expressed sympathy with its insulted and dying Author. The sun refused to look upon the awful scene. Its full, bright rays were illuminating the earth at midday, when suddenly it seemed to be blotted out. Complete darkness, like a funeral pall, enveloped the cross. “There was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour.” There was no eclipse or other natural cause for this darkness, which was as deep as midnight without moon or stars. It was a miraculous testimony given by God that the faith of after generations might be confirmed.
In that thick darkness God’s presence was hidden. He makes darkness His pavilion, and conceals His glory from human eyes. God and His holy angels were beside the cross. The Father was with His Son. Yet His presence was not revealed. Had His glory flashed forth from the cloud, every human beholder would have been destroyed. And in that dreadful hour Christ was not to be comforted with the Father’s presence. He trod the wine press alone, and of the people there was none with Him. (DA 753)
The Father was with His Son – hiding in the darkness.
Suddenly the gloom lifted from the cross, and in clear, trumpetlike tones, that seemed to resound throughout creation, Jesus cried, “It is finished.” “Father, into Thy hands I commend My spirit.” A light encircled the cross, and the face of the Saviour shone with a glory like the sun. He then bowed His head upon His breast, and died. (DA 756)
Why did Jesus say, “Father, into Thy hands I commend my spirit?” Because He found His Father right there with Him – in the darkness. So close to Him that He could just drop into His hands.
How was it that He was able to endure?
Amid the awful darkness, apparently forsaken of God, Christ had drained the last dregs in the cup of human woe. In those dreadful hours He had relied upon the evidence of His Father’s acceptance heretofore given Him. He was acquainted with the character of His Father; He understood His justice, His mercy, and His great love. By faith He rested in Him whom it had ever been His joy to obey. And as in submission He committed Himself to God, the sense of the loss of His Father’s favor was withdrawn. By faith, Christ was victor. (DA 756)
Jesus had learnt from His previous experiences that God makes darkness His pavilion. Even though to all appearances He was forsaken of God, He was able to remember that dark cloud that descended upon Him when He spoke with the Greeks. He was acquainted with that Character who hides His glory in the darkness, as He comes close to impart rich blessings, and so He searched, and searched and searched in the darkness, Where are you Father, where? Aaaah, there you are – into Thy hands… He found His Father in the darkness.
Jesus had to drain the cup of human woe to the last dregs. And He says His disciples will drink of the same cup.
Hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my law; fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings. I, even I, am he that comforteth you: who art thou, that thou shouldest be afraid of a man that shall die, and of the son of man which shall be made as grass; (Isaiah 51:7, 12)
The faithful are surrounded by enemies. But God says, Do not be afraid of them.
And forgettest the LORD thy maker, that hath stretched forth the heavens, and laid the foundations of the earth; and hast feared continually every day because of the fury of the oppressor, as if he were ready to destroy? and where is the fury of the oppressor? The captive exile hasteneth that he may be loosed, and that he should not die in the pit, nor that his bread should fail. But I am the LORD thy God, that divided the sea, whose waves roared: The LORD of hosts is his name. And I have put my words in thy mouth, and I have covered thee in the shadow of mine hand, that I may plant the heavens, and lay the foundations of the earth, and say unto Zion, Thou art my people. (Isaiah 51:13-16)
They have gone forward, declaring the message of 1888 with power, and now, having met the consequences, some say “If we had known we would have held our peace”. But God says, “I have put my words in thy mouth” It was I who spake, not you. And I have protected you and will continue to do so.
And so Satan wrings their hearts. Their hopes have sunk, they have feared that God has left them, yet, like Jacob, they will not let Him go. And here is the bitter cup.
Awake, awake, stand up, O Jerusalem, which hast drunk at the hand of the LORD the cup of his fury; thou hast drunken the dregs of the cup of trembling, and wrung them out. (Isaiah 51:17)
The people of God must drink of the cup and be baptized with the baptism. The very delay, so painful to them, is the best answer to their petitions. As they endeavor to wait trustingly for the Lord to work they are led to exercise faith, hope, and patience, which have been too little exercised during their religious experience. (GC 630.2)
Like Jesus, they have drunk the cup to the last dregs. They have made an experience by which they can appreciate Jesus sufferings on the cross, and Satan has been uprooted from their hearts. Self and sin are dead.
Therefore hear now this, thou afflicted, and drunken, but not with wine: Thus saith thy Lord the LORD, and thy God that pleadeth the cause of his people, Behold, I have taken out of thine hand the cup of trembling, even the dregs of the cup of my fury; thou shalt no more drink it again: But I will put it into the hand of them that afflict thee; which have said to thy soul, Bow down, that we may go over: and thou hast laid thy body as the ground, and as the street, to them that went over. (Isaiah 51:21-23)
The cup will be removed from the faithful ones, and be placed into the hands of them that afflict them. When will this be? At the commencement of the seventh plague.
Revelation 16:17-21 says it perfectly.
And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done. And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great. And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath. And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great. Revelation 16:17-21
Remember that when Jesus had drained the dregs of the cup He cried out “It is finished”? Now a voice from heaven says, It is done. Babylon has come up in remembrance before God and that cup that the faithful have drunk, is now removed from their lips, and given to those that afflicted them. This is at the commencement of the seventh plague.
After Jesus died, there was a terrible earthquake, and thunder and lightning and more darkness.
Never before had the earth witnessed such a scene. The multitude stood paralyzed, and with bated breath gazed upon the Saviour. Again darkness settled upon the earth, and a hoarse rumbling, like heavy thunder, was heard. There was a violent earthquake. The people were shaken together in heaps. The wildest confusion and consternation ensued. In the surrounding mountains, rocks were rent asunder, and went crashing down into the plains. Sepulchers were broken open, and the dead were cast out of their tombs. Creation seemed to be shivering to atoms. Priests, rulers, soldiers, executioners, and people, mute with terror, lay prostrate upon the ground. (DA 756)
So now, in the experience of this world under seventh plague, there will be an earthquake, and thunder and lightning.
It is at midnight that God manifests His power for the deliverance of His people. The sun appears, shining in its strength. Signs and wonders follow in quick succession. The wicked look with terror and amazement upon the scene, while the righteous behold with solemn joy the tokens of their deliverance. Everything in nature seems turned out of its course. The streams cease to flow. Dark, heavy clouds come up and clash against each other. In the midst of the angry heavens is one clear space of indescribable glory, whence comes the voice of God like the sound of many waters, saying: “It is done.” Revelation 16:17.
That voice shakes the heavens and the earth. There is a mighty earthquake, “such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.” Verses 17, 18. The firmament appears to open and shut. The glory from the throne of God seems flashing through. The mountains shake like a reed in the wind, and ragged rocks are scattered on every side. There is a roar as of a coming tempest. The sea is lashed into fury. There is heard the shriek of a hurricane like the voice of demons upon a mission of destruction. The whole earth heaves and swells like the waves of the sea. Its surface is breaking up. Its very foundations seem to be giving way. Mountain chains are sinking. Inhabited islands disappear. The seaports that have become like Sodom for wickedness are swallowed up by the angry waters. Babylon the great has come in remembrance before God, “to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of His wrath.” Great hailstones, every one “about the weight of a talent,” are doing their work of destruction. Verses 19, 21. The proudest cities of the earth are laid low. The lordly palaces, upon which the world’s great men have lavished their wealth in order to glorify themselves, are crumbling to ruin before their eyes. Prison walls are rent asunder, and God’s people, who have been held in bondage for their faith, are set free. (GC 636)
And when Christ was set free from His bondage, graves were opened.
Graves are opened, and “many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth. . . awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.” Daniel 12:2. All who have died in the faith of the third angel’s message come forth from the tomb glorified, to hear God’s covenant of peace with those who have kept His law. “They also which pierced Him” (Revelation 1:7), those that mocked and derided Christ’s dying agonies, and the most violent opposers of His truth and His people, are raised to behold Him in His glory and to see the honor placed upon the loyal and obedient. (GC 637)
How precious it is to see the experience of the faithful paralleled with the experience of Jesus. What a whole new perspective it gives us on Jacob’s trouble. We can grit our teeth, and with Jesus say, “nevertheless, not my will, but Thine be done”.
The dark experiences of our lives are the very answer to our prayers. Jesus makes darkness His pavilion and the darkness is the veil which covers his glory as He comes close to impart rich blessings.
And what is that rich blessing? To be set free from the service of self and Satan. To be delivered from our bondage of sin.
And the other blessing is this:
Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. Revelation 3:20
He is coming to sup with us. To share that bitter cup.
Can we understand better now what is written in DA 225?
God never leads His children otherwise than they would choose to be led, if they could see the end from the beginning, and discern the glory of the purpose which they are fulfilling as co-workers with Him. (DA 225)
Oh, to find Jesus in the darkness is our privilege.
May we learn it now, that we may find Him in the dark hour which shall come upon all the world.