Why does God allow Christians to go through great tribulation?

There are many reasons why God allows His people to go through all the events that are associated with the world, including periods of great tribulation.

Some suffer in order to honor the prayer of Jesus, who asked the Father not to take Christians out of the world.

“I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world,
but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.
16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.”

~John 17:15-17

Some Christians suffer in order to fulfil the predictive words of Jesus.

“These things I have spoken unto you,
that in me ye might have peace.
In the world ye shall have tribulation:
but be of good cheer;
I have overcome the world.”

~John 16:33

Some suffer in order a witness to the world, as Noah was a preacher of righteousness to his generation.

“And spared not the old world,
but saved Noah the eighth person,
a preacher of righteousness,
bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly.”

~2 Peter 2:5

Some suffer in order to save others.
There is the principle of Blessing by Association.
“And the Lord said unto Noah,
Come thou and all thy house into the ark;
for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation…
13 In the selfsame day entered Noah, and Shem, and Ham, and Japheth,
the sons of Noah, and Noah’s wife,
and the three wives of his sons with them, into the ark.”

~Genesis 7:1, 13

Some suffer in order to display the grace of God in showing mercy to His own during great tribulation. Noah and his family were saved through the Flood, not by removal from it. Lot was saved despite the destruction of Sodom. The Lord knows how to deliver His own.

Some suffer in order to give individuals a chance to obey the Lord and manifest their faith in His word. Those who escaped the Fall of Jerusalem in AD 70 did so because they remember the words of the Lord to flee to the mountains.

Some suffer in order to purify the church, and separate the faithful from the unfaithful.

“Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer:
behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison,
that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days:
be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.”
~Revelation 2:10

Some suffer in order to be an example, and an encouragement to others. The Bible speaks of those who
“Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. 35 Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: 36 And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: 37 They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; 38 (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. 39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: 40 God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect” (Heb. 11:34-40).


The story of The Hiding Place would never have blessed the world if Corrie Ten Boom, and her family, had not experienced the Holocaust.

Some suffer in order to honor apostolic teaching. The apostle Paul ministered to the churches by, “Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22).

Some suffering because God is judging the church. When the truth of Scripture is not believed, God will send strong delusions so that people might believe the lie. The idea that a large group of Christians are going to be removed out of the world to escape a special seven-year tribulation period is a monstrous lie that lures careless believers into a false sense of hope and security. When tribulation in life comes, they are disillusioned, and turn away from the Christian faith, and abandon the church.

“And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion,
that they should believe a lie.”
~2 Thessalonians 2:11

There are many sincere Christians who are emotionally and psychologically wedded to a theology of escapism, to the point they cannot believe God allows His people to go through great tribulation.

Precious souls are committed to a system of false hope, despite the evidence of the church being part of the Fall of Jerusalem in AD 70, despite the church being caught up in the global conflict of World War I, and then World War II, and despite the world-wide persecution of Christians today. ISIS is cutting off the heads of Christians for all the world to see on TV. Christians are being driven out of the Middle East, and still people are led to believe Christians are to be immune from this.

For those who are still teachable, search the simplicity of the Scriptures. Read again the words of Jesus in John 16:33 and John 17:15, and believe the Lord. It will be enough to sustain every believer in life, and whatever the future may bring.

“These things I have spoken unto you,
that in me ye might have peace.
In the world ye shall have tribulation:
but be of good cheer;
I have overcome the world.”
~John 16:33

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