I remember where I was on August 21st at the time of the eclipse. I was in Cleveland, Georgia with my coworkers and my eclipse glasses were on my face. The moon was slowly blocking the sun’s rays, the temperature was dropping, and darkness covered the landscape. But when the light broke through on the other side, an important lesson came to my mind from this encounter with the heavens. Particularly, the last two eclipses we’ll experience on this earth.
Firstly, the time of trouble is going to be just like this. Gabriel told Daniel and John that before our deliverance, there will be a time “such as there never was since there was a nation” (Dan. 12:1), when God’s people will be persecuted for not submitting to the authority of the antichristian kingdom (Rev. 1:1, 13:14-17). This will be a time when the light of truth will be eclipsed by the world and the church at large, eclipse number one. It will be the time when the man of sin will be honored as God (2 Thess. 2:3, 4).
This will be time of great spiritual darkness, comparable to the Dark Ages and the French Revolution. When the authority of man was put in the place of the Bible in those days, mass persecution broke out upon the world. Millions who boldly chose not to submit to Catholic doctrines or secular laws that violated their consciences were deprived of their rights, their property, and their freedom. They were shamelessly slandered and pursued as enemies of the state. They were sadistically tortured and killed in ways that violate the human imagination.
But this time of trouble will pass as quickly as the eclipse. When the Lord, the Sun of Righteousness (Mal. 4:2), returns, He will deliver us as He delivered the world from the Dark Ages and the French Revolution. The rays of truth in God’s Word convicted men in those days to give homage to their Creator as their authority in all things. The commandments to love God above all and their neighbors as themselves (Matt. 22:37-39) gradually extinguished the flames of persecution and restored order in those times.
The same lesson can be seen on a more personal level. As we are surrounded by the evils of this world, we often feel that we are eclipsed in darkness (eclipse number 2). The love of many waxes cold, our circumstances worsen, and the world around us seems covered in all manner of wickedness. The Bible does tell us that things will get worse (1 Tim. 4:1-3; 2 Tim. 3:1-8), but it also tells us that “weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning” (Ps. 30:5).
The darkness of this world lasts only for a moment, just like that eclipse. When it’s over, only the love and light of God will remain. But those who long for that lasting peace in their lives do not have to wait until that day for deliverance. All we have to do is cry out to the Lord and He will deliver us just as He did at Calvary.
“I cried to thee, O Lord; and unto the Lord I made supplication…Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness; To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever.” (Ps. 30:8, 11, 12).
“But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him,” (Matt. 14:30, 31).
“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Rom. 10:12, 13).
The peace that God gives will not only deliver you from your troubles, but it will also preserve you in the time of trouble. It is an extraordinary gift in these extraordinary circumstances and every true believer will have it by that time. If life has trapped you in its darkness, cry out to Jesus and the eclipse over your life will end.
“But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall” (Mal. 4:2).
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28).