In the fire and brimstone, hope
Lamentations 2:14, ESV. Your prophets have seen for you false and deceptive visions; they have not exposed your iniquity to restore your fortunes, but have seen for you oracles that are false and misleading.
Jeremiah 23:16–17 ESV. Thus says the LORD of hosts: “Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you, filling you with vain hopes. They speak visions of their own minds, not from the mouth of the LORD. They say continually to those who despise the word of the LORD, ‘It shall be well with you’; and to everyone who stubbornly follows his own heart, they say, ‘No disaster shall come upon you.’ ”
Ezekiel 7:26 ESV. Disaster comes upon disaster; rumor follows rumor. They seek a vision from the prophet, while the law perishes from the priest and counsel from the elders.
So say the prophets. The really startling thing about these statements is that they apply today just as much as they did at the time they were given. Modern teachers (priests, pastors, rabbis and imams that claim to teach or "forth-tell" the Word of God are also prophets) are seeing for us false and deceptive visions. They speak "visions of their own minds, not from the mouth of the Lord," because they sparsely use a few Bible verses here and there mixed in with large doses of the philosophies of men. We hear that "no disaster shall come upon" he who stubbornly follow his own heart. Churchgoers are seeking "visions from the prophet" while God's Law perishes from the priest and counsel from the elders.
Iniquity is not exposed so as to restore our fortunes. Leaders are throwing out large parts of God's Word, specifically God's Laws, yet preaching that everything will turn out fine. Revealing iniquity (literally lawlessness) is full of hope, because the soft hearted person has a chance to correct behavior not in line with God's Word before it's too late. Since judgment begins in His house (1 Peter 4:17 ) we need to heed God's warnings and sweep the iniquity out of every room in our own houses.
Prophecy cannot be studied as an isolated subject apart from the rest of the Word and expect to fully understand it. His people are to be careful to embrace the "whole commandment" and "remember the whole way" of God. Rejecting any part of the Word (it's old, eliminated, or for someone else) creates gaps in understanding all of it. The Bible is an integrated whole, and in order to achieve a balanced understanding of any one part of it, the entire book must be read and God's instructions followed. Like our brother Israel, Gentile believers must also be careful to do the whole commandment.
God has promised the flame of judgment on the Christ-rejecting world. Yet within the flame is the heavenly promise of hope for those who cling to the testimony of Yeshua (Jesus) and follow the commands of God. Our Father will not forget us or forsake us. He will make a way of escape or protection in all the fiery trials soon to come upon the world systems.
Hope is in living as He instructs, and is what He asks of us on many occasions. This is what it means to be faithful. Our Father uses words like "watch," "stay awake," "conquer" ," and "persevere" quite a bit in His preaching and prophecy. He doesn't ask us to hunt down the beast and kill him. He doesn't say we should be salvation police and judge someone else's walk with Him. There is no assignment from our Father to find out exactly what constitutes the mark of the beast. We are to grow in His love and grace, practice the fruit of the Spirit, encourage one another to love and good works, and stay alert for His return. Believers can study the Bible and prepare for bad stuff happening as we need to, but our focus is on glorifying God in our behavior and our teaching.
When He calls, we must answer. When He speaks, we must listen, which means actually doing what God says when He says it. When we follow all of His Words, even the hated (by the Church and the world) Law, we choose what delights God and is a pleasing aroma to Him. The harsh treatment of believers by unbelievers will not continue. Believers don't have to be much concerned with tribulation, or even The Tribulation. God gives us hope that He is watching out for those who choose Him, those who are contrite of spirit. We can take solace in the fact that He will not leave us bereft of help and support in times of tribulation. He is dwelling in us and will dwell with us soon, to revive our spirits.
Isaiah 57:15–16 ESV. For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite. For I will not contend forever, nor will I always be angry; for the spirit would grow faint before me, and the breath of life that I made.