When interpreting scripture some view the words wrath and tribulation as if they are interchangeable. They are not. Wrath is the results of anger. God’s wrath is the results of His righteous anger. Tribulation is trouble. Tribulations may be the results of nature, God’s testing, God’s correction, persecution or any of the many other sources of trouble. All who live in this world eventually experience tribulation.
Yes, even Gods people experience tribulations – troubles. In John 16:33 Jesus said , “In the world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world”. But the tribulation of God’s people often is different than the tribulation of others. Because of the clean and peaceful lifestyle they lead, they don’t experience the troubles that often come from living in excess and immorality. But they do experience tribulation in the form of persecution from non-Christians. The Apostle said in 2 Timothy 3:12, “…all who will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution”. Also our loving Father may bring correction to us through troubles. Discerning the source and reason for our troubles and then making adjustments where needed is a major part of life.
In the period of time immediately before the Exodus, God’s wrath fell on Egypt several times. His wrath towards Egypt was not without purpose. We read in Exodus 7:5 that His purpose was that all the Egyptians would know that He was God. It seems that He used the ungodly Egyptians as an object lesson for the whole world. And even though his people, Israel, lived among the Egyptians, they didn’t suffer his wrath (Exodus 8:20-23, 9:1-6, 9:22-26, 10:21-23, 11:4-7). Gods wrath is never towards his people. Psalms 91:8 says “only with your eyes shall you look, and see the reward of the wicked”. In I Thessalonians 5:9 the Apostle says “God did not appoint us to wrath”. His wrath can be upon the ungodly all around us, and yet not touch us, even as with Israel in Egypt at the time of the plagues. Also consider Noah and Lot.
It is often taught that God will pour out His wrath on the entire world during a period called “The Great Tribulation”. This teaching is used to give strength to the teaching of a catching away of the church seven years before the second coming. The words “The Great Tribulation” appear once in scriptures. (Rev. 7:14). It refers to the tribulation that the Saints have endured in all ages. The people of God have suffered greatly in ages past as well as today. Many of us seem blind to what the Saints have endured and are enduring. Troubles, they are inevitable. But when the Saints endure such, they are not without His presence and His help.