Pain and grief – why?

Life can be really challenging sometimes.

Our world is filled with people who are plagued with anxieties, fear and depression. We experience these things for so many different reasons, whether physical, environmental or psychological.

Sometimes circumstances outside of our own control bring a tsunami of pain and grief that never goes away. Perhaps through the loss of a loved one or the persistence of an debilitating physical or mental condition. Sometimes, we experience pain as a result of a bad choice that we’ve made.

Whatever it is – we’ve come to a point in time where we are left reeling, disoriented, questioning the point of life, perhaps questioning God Himself.

Perhaps we have no trouble acknowledging the fact that God is the omnipotent creator of heaven and earth – but that doesn’t necessarily stop us from asking the question, “Why does God allow this painful cirumstance to happen”?

If God is all-powerful, “why doesn’t He intervene and resolve the situation”? “Why did God allow this situation to develop in the first place”. Perhaps, in our grief, we point the finger at God and blame Him, because we know He has the power to resolve the situation, yet He persists in allowing us to suffer.

This mental conflict can result in a crisis of faith where we might ask; “How can I love a God who allows pain and grief to be imposed upon me like this. What kind of relationship or what kind of love is this?”

Its unlikely that we will know WHY God has chosen to allow our difficult circumstances to occur and persist, in our moment of suffering.

And the absense of a clear answer to that question can be painful in itself. Christ also had to deal with this – he didn’t want the pain and suffering of the crucifixion. He pleaded with God “please take this cup from me”. God did not answer this prayerful request from his Son, even though his Son pleaded with him.

Yet while we don’t always know the reason why He does what He does, God does give us a glimpse of why we should still trust Him in the most difficult of times.

This glimpse is found in words that God spoke over 2500 years ago in one of the darkest moments in Judah’s national history, deep inside Babylon, to the captives of Judah.

These captives had been taken from their lands, uprooted from their familes – some of whom had been killed back in Israel – and they were now in a foreign place only to be confronted with imprisonment, starvation and death.

Anxiety and depression would have been a natural response to such a traumatic event like this. Life itself would’ve seemed pointless and empty. And in those moments of need, doubtless the captives asked the question “why is God allowing this to happen”?

The way that God appeals to these captives in Isa 51 v1-16 is insightful.

While God chooses not to reveal to us the immediate “why” about our circumstances, He does give us something to hold onto. He presents a case which consists of three main points:

I am trustworthy

v1-2 – Paraphrase: “When I make a promise, I keep it. Want proof? Look at Abraham and how my promise has already started to be fulfilled in his children”

I will give you peace and joy

v3-11 – Paraphrase: “The future is going to be amazing (joy, peace, etc) for those who trust me. I promise.”

I have the power to do this

v12-16 – Paraphrase: “I am the creator of the heavens and the earth – I know what I’m doing. I have the power to make this happen.”

Even in when our affliction is unrelenting – even in our most vulnerable moments God does not always give us the outcome or result that we desperately want and in moments of acute suffering this can feel like betrayal.

However, God wants us – in these moments – to trust Him; trust that He will help us see it through; trust that He wants to bring us peace; trust that He has the absolute power and authority to make this happen and trust that He will keep his promise to do just that.

Christ begged for the cup to be taken from him. Christ did not even deserve the punishment he endured. Despite this, God never removed the cup.

Instead of removing the cup, God gave him more than he or anyone could possibly imagine, and He has promised to do the same for us if we hold fast in Faith.

What does the Bible say about Coronavirus?

As the Coronavirus (COVID-19) spreads around the world, there is no doubt that the entire world is facing an unprecedented situation. “Life as we know it, will never be the same” is becoming a common script amongst political and economic leaders.

Not six months ago, the idea that millions of people throughout our prosperous world would soon be confined to their homes for fear of a virus would have been considered ludicrous by most.

But for those who read Bible prophecy, the idea – now reality – fits right into what was prophesied to happen.

While the Bible doesn’t say anything specific about COVID-19, Christ prophesied that certain events would happen around the world prior to His return – events which are remarkably similar to what the world is experiencing now as a result of COVID-19.

What to expect

Lets take a look at what Christ said, in Luke 21;

“Then said he unto them, Nation shall rise against nation” – (v10)

The word “nation” in the original Greek is “ethnos” and refers to a multitude of individuals who are of the same genus or ethnicity.

In the last few years we have seen growing nationalism and populism around the world which has placed ethnicity and national identity into the spotlight. Since 2015, populism has brought Trump to power, divided the United Kingdom from Europe and has been the vehicle of growing success for global leaders like Putin and Xi Jinping. As populism grows around the world, it bears a strong resemblance to the populism that led to World War 2.

With severe restrictions on travel around the world and with world leaders pointing the finger at China for allowing this virus to go unchecked, nationalistic undertones are only escalating around the world.

Christ continues.

“And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences (epidemics)” – (v11)

Christ explains that earthquakes, famines and edpidemics will occur, and over the last 20 years, the world has seen some huge earthquakes including the biggest on record – the Indian Ocean earthquake that hit 9.1 on the Richter scale in 2004.

Famines around the world are growing every day as economic disparity around the world increases. According to the United Nations, 820 million people were undernourished prior to COVID-19 and 697 million people were experiencing severe food insecurity.

Sadly these numbers are about to get worse – the United Nations ran some modelling which predicts that Coronavirus will cause global famines of “Biblical proportions” in just a matter of months, which will result in one billion people experiencing chronic hunger. 

The word pestilences in the Greek means “plagues or epidemics”. The world has rarely experienced a pandemic that has had such a far reaching impact around the globe as that of the Coronavirus.

How the world will react

And what does Christ say will be the result of all these things that come upon the earth?

“And there shall be … upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity” – (v25)

The Greek word “distress” means to “narrow, constrict, constrain” – these are words that have a remarkable resemblance to the overwhelming feeling of confinement that one third of the world experiences today as movement and travel is restricted, public places and events cancelled, and people are told to stay in their homes.

But even more significantly, the word Greek word “distress” used here in Luke actually originates from the Greek word “sunecho” and it describes someone who is “taken with” something – usually a disease or high fever.  This same word is used both in Luke 4:38 and Acts 28:8 to describe people who were sick and taken by high fevers – and ofcourse our world now is in the grip of a virus that also causes a high fever.

The word perplexity originates from the Greek word ‘aporio’ which means “to be without resources” or “to be left wanting”.  And already we have seen in the last few months, hospital systems completely overwhelmed whenever an outbreak occurs; not enough ventilators, not enough hospital beds, not enough face masks.

Christ continues.

“… men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth” – (v26)

The fear and “fainting” here is referring to the mental and emotional anxiety, apprehension and fear that is proliferating as people worry about their jobs, their health, their lifestyles, and their lives.

The word “failing” in the Greek literally means, to “leave off breathing”. To be out of breath to the extent one faints or loses consciousness – and is that not what thousands of people around the world are experiencing as a result of COVID-19?

“… for the powers of heaven shall be shaken” – (v26)

And as fear proliferates, the powers of heaven (the governing leaders and institutions of the world) will be “shaken” – the Greek word means to “totter”. As a result of COVID-19 world leaders are shaken to the core, confused and lost as to what economic policies should be enacted, working furiously to keep health systems resilient, supply chains functioning and all the while, the global economy is tottering and on the brink of collapse.

When all these things begin to come to pass…

And Christ said, when all these things begin to come to pass, we can expect to see His return;

“At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.” – (v27)

We don’t know exactly when Christ will return, or whether or not this pandemic will result in His return. But what we do know, is that the unprecedented situation which has been brought upon the world by COVID-19, is already creating a series of events that resemble those that Christ predicted would occur, just before His return.

US urges Turkey to stop bombing Syria

Russian state media is reporting that Turkey is shelling Syrian and Kurdish positions inside Syria.

Last week, the Russian Prime Minister warned that if Turkey did that, they would set off a ‘World War’.

Video: Turkey attacks Syrian Kurds while Erdogan Slams America

Tweets from the State Department


This blog – 6 months young

Hi Everyone,

Just wanted to say thanks for your many comments and thoughts over the last few months.

Since creating this blog 6 months ago we have had 50,000 visits from over 26,000 visitors!

On some days, we get up to 2000 visits, on others 200.

Where possible we have covered events on a live video stream (Sky News), notified subscribers via email of breaking news, and provided commentary on some of the bigger current events and how they relate to Bible Prophecy.

In these last days, Prophecy serves as a phenomenal source of hope and faith.

If possible, we would love you to share our blog with any friends or family, brothers or sisters who may want to be kept abreast of some of the amazing events that are unfolding in these last days.

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Love in Christ

The Signs of the Times Team

See our complete post archive here

Russia just violated Turkish airspace again

This time, Turkey didn’t take the bait and wisely so, because this time Russia has the most advanced aerial defence system in the world on standby, itching to prove itself to the world.

As Russia and Turkey face off, we are reminded that we are sitting on the verge of the return of Christ.

Putin has said that he cant guarantee that it wont happen again.

Is this second airspace violation our last reminder?