“You will hear of wars and rumors of wars… Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places… many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other… Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold…For there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now… But the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.” (Jesus – from Matthew 24)
This world, as we know it, will not go on forever.
I know this is not the most cheerful of topics… but it is on the mind of so many these days. Never in the history of mankind have we been so close to the brink. You can just feel it… the world is becoming a strange and fearful place. People are angry. Agitated. Frustrated. Fearful. Anxious. Filled with a sense of dread… of hopelessness. Surging into our streets, filling them with unrest and violence.
Add to this… all the natural disasters that seem to dominate the headlines every day. Massive hurricanes pummeling and destroying property and lives. Terrible earthquakes toppling entire cities. Unbelievable floods turning communities into cesspools. Droughts in other places wiping out all the crops, leaving starvation in their relentless wake. It is an ugly, foreboding picture. It is reality.
Jesus told us it would be this way. He warned us to be aware that a terrible darkness would descend upon the whole earth – before the dawn of a new hope.
While so many are seeing and despairing, God is calling His people to look up and see that “our redemption is drawing near.” (Luke 21:28) Most of us Christians are sensing it: Jesus’ return is very close! We need to hold on to our faith and live our lives in the fact that our Hero is just about to burst onto the scene. Like the best of Hollywood movies… just when it seems all is lost, He is coming to save the day!
And that may be our best testimony yet… In the midst of all the unrest and hopelessness, we are the people at peace and full of hope. In times where the masses are pushed around by the winds of trouble and dread – we are standing firm on the promise of our Savior. Heads lifted high, living in the blessing of God’s Presence and comfort – eagerly awaiting the one thing for which we have all been longing. “Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!” (Revelation 21:20)
But we have work to do. These signs are meant to capture our attention. To renew our resolve to live as Light in the darkness. Serving people in need. Offering joy in the midst of sadness. Extending hope to quell the despair. Pointing all those we meet to the One Who is our comfort and our rescue.
Dickens was right. These ARE the worst of times… and the best of times.
Jesus is calling us to see the finish line and renew our love for humanity, to stoke up the flame of our passion to see God glorified in the hearts and minds of so many who need Him.
The hope for the world is Jesus.
We are the carriers of that hope.
Prayer Focus: God, I seek to live as hope in the world through the hope You placed in my heart. Lead me to serve and to love as Jesus served and loved.