Praise the Lord that the church is awakening to the “sign of the times” our Lord prophesied would come before His return, for they are upon us. With the fulfillment of these prophies we can experience an exultant joy that our God is faithful and the day of our blessed hope is closer than ever.
Along with this source of joy, their is a very real danger of living under a sense of anxiety and foreboding (sense of heaviness of what may come), because regardless of when a person estimates the timing of the rapture, we are told that all who live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution (II Timothy 3:12). When we consider the sign of the times and the fulfillment of scripture, even those of us in the relatively little persecuted Westernized countries must be prepared for difficulty on the rise.
Matthew 24:4-14 (NKJV) “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.
Mark 13:8-13 (NKJV) For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be earthquakes in various places, and there will be famines and troubles. These are the beginnings of sorrows. “But watch out for yourselves, for they will deliver you up to councils, and you will be beaten in the synagogues. You will be brought before rulers and kings for My sake, for a testimony to them. And the gospel must first be preached to all the nations. But when they arrest you and deliver you up, do not worry beforehand, or premeditate what you will speak. But whatever is given you in that hour, speak that; for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit. Now brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end shall be saved.
Luke 21:7-19 essentially declares the same as the above passages and all three take place prior to the 7 year tribulational period. It is for this reason that many Christians are being swallowed up in depression, anxiety and fear, as we attempt to peer around the corner to shield ourselves from potential blows or secure enough provision to survive.
With the onset of so many different governmental and societal changes, which are contrary to our faith, as well a new mandates, which are strikingly similar to what we know to be the Antichrist’s final solution (Revelation 13), it is easy to leave off of exultant joy over the faithfulness and perfection of God in the prophetic scriptures, as we are pressed into anxiety over something wicked which comes this way, that we may not be able to avoid.
What do we do?
- Remember that anxiety is based on “what if’s” which may not come to pass. This is why Jesus commands us not to be anxious over what we we need for provision or protection (Matthew 6:25-27).
- Therefore we reject anxiety. We simply refuse to worry. We punish anxious thinking by presenting our thoughts and feelings to God, honestly (Philippians 4:6-7) and by taking our thoughts captive in comparison to what God’s word declares is true (II Corinthians 10:3-7).
- We also recognize that fear which robs us of peace and joy, comes not from God, but the world, the flesh and the devil, so we reject FEAR (II Timothy 1:7).
- We accept that uncertainty is a part of the growth process and ministry of the saint. Uncertainty forces us to our knees where we are meeting with Christ and gain what is needed for what we face in the day (Hebrews 2:17-18; 4:15-16).
- We live in today, and seek His righteousness and will, not what we want or think we need (Matthew 6:31-34).
Dearly beloved in Christ, there is much on the horizon that will be contrary to our faith. Perhaps, we feel so uneasy, because up till now we have not had to risk much to keep in the faith (at least in the United States), but Christ has promised to never leave us nor forsake us and to give us what we need in each day. That means if we need grace to walk in the fellowship of His sufferings, He will give it, but that does not mean we ought to attain peace today for things we may or may not go through until tomorrow.
We keep this straight by one principal. Even before asking for our daily bread, we seek His kingdom will in our lives. Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and what we need in the day will be given.