Tribulation in the Bible is divided into two categories: tribulation all believers face in one way or another and the “Great or Seven-Year Tribulation” that occurs between the Rapture of the Church and the Second Coming of Christ.
The English word “tribulation” occurs about 20 times in Scripture. The Greek word for tribulation occurs about 45 times. The Greek word for tribulation is thlipsis and is defined as “a pressing, pressing together, pressure” and metaphorically defined as “oppression, affliction, tribulation, distress, trouble, and straits.”
For instance, Jesus said in John 16:33, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 4:17, “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” In these two verses, the English words “tribulation” and “affliction” are the same Greek word.
Christians will all face some kind of tribulation in life because of the sin of their flesh and the sin in the world. This tribulation includes such things as sickness, disease, death, depression, anxiety, and the results of the evil actions of some people.
However, the “Great or Seven-Year Tribulation” is a time in which tribulation will be much worse and come at a greater speed and frequency. The Great Tribulation will be a time of natural disasters, world-altering events of catastrophic proportions, and war. Those who desire to become Christians during this period will face intense persecution and death. The Church and the Holy Spirit of God will be taken out of the world before The Great Tribulation. This will be the darkest period in our world's history!
The most important thing we need to learn, understand, and teach others is the Gospel so that they have a chance to avoid the tribulation and be with Jesus. If we live our lives for Jesus and focus on Him, all else will fall into place and happen as it should whether we understand it all or not.