I wept and wept because no one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside. Revelation 5:4

Jesus was the only one worthy to open the scroll and yet when he does it unleashes such waves of destruction (chapter 6), that we may wonder why it needed to be opened at all. Opening the seals ushers in the events that lead to the culmination of world history. John weeps because if the seals weren’t opened we would remain stuck forever in a broken world.

Jesus said that knowing there’re difficult times ahead is like having a baby, “a woman giving birth to a child has pain because the time has come, but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world” (John 16:21). One day we will experience such joy in heaven that we will forget the anguish we experienced here on earth.

Selwyn Hughes, quoted Mother Teresa when he made the comment, “the most tragic life from a human perspective will seem like one night in a bad hotel from heaven’s perspective.” This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to alleviate suffering and help those in need. But it does mean we’re never overwhelmed since we know, “… this world in its present form is passing away” (1 Corinthians 7:31).

We can only make sense of destruction and devastation if we take the long term view. The book of Revelation makes it clear that God is on the throne controlling world events. We can trust God even when bad things happen because there is a new day coming when, “he will wipe every tear from their eyes” (Revelation 21:4).