Tag Archives: tribulation

July 16 – Terror And Trust

Micah

Are the prophetic books like Micah meant to be interpreted as futuristic occurrences only? Are the “latter days” a stick we need to continually throw ahead? Or are there truths for today, no matter when the day comes that Jesus returns?

Terror is covering our globe like a heavy blanket. It’s not just us in America who go to bed wondering where and when the next attack will be. The overwhelming drive to consider evil good and good evil should concern all believers. Our world, as we know it, seems to be spinning out of control.

How much worse can it get? Maybe that’s not an answer we’re ready to hear.

Things were bad in Micahs’ day, too. And they were going to get worse. But I want to leave you with Micah’s words from chapter 7:7-9. They are words that spoke to me this morning, and give me hope. I trust they’ll do the same for you.

But as for me, I will watch expectantly for the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation. My God will hear me. Do not rejoice over me, O my enemy. Though I fall I will rise; though I dwell in darkness, the Lord is light for me. I will bear the indignation of the Lord because I have sinned against Him, until He pleads my case and executes justice for me. He will bring me out to the light, and I will see His righteousness.

 

Peace!

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. (John16:33)

I am a child of the 60’s, a Baby Boomer, raised in the era of hippies, the Beatles, and ‘All We Need Is Love’. A common greeting back in the day was, “Peace”. Our country was at war, and it wasn’t a popular war for many. You saw the word ‘peace’ or its symbol on the sides of buildings, on book bags and necklaces, and on t-shirts. It was everywhere.

People longed for peace and looked for it in drugs, in sex, in throwing out the rules, in themselves, and in Eastern religions. But the 60’s were far less than peaceful.

Jesus said his words were spoken so that in him we could know what real peace is all about. A person might calm themselves, find their ‘center’, repeat a mantra to experience a form of peace. But the source of true peace can only be found in knowing Jesus.

Life is hard. Things aren’t always fair. Bad things happen. And Satan is attacking. But Jesus tells us to cheer up. You see, he has overcome the world! And those of us who stand with him stand on the winning side.

Peace in the midst of a storm. Peace when the doctor’s report is devastating. Peace when the career hits the skids. Peace when a relationship crumbles. Peace that has nothing to do with circumstances, and everything to do with Jesus.

A peace beyond the world’s understanding.

Peace.

Watch!

Jesus is coming again! Jesus, Son of God and Son of Man who died, yet lives, is going to come back with the sound of a trumpet and everyone will see it happen. The dead will rise, we who know him will meet him in the air. Oh what a day that will be. I’ll see Jesus face to face in all his glory.

The circumstances surrounding this event and what happens after is cause for great debate. But I don’t care. Trying to place signs on a timeline, or figuring out if I will be spared a great tribulation, or if Jesus will set up a material kingdom on planet Earth doesn’t matter to me.

Sure, I have an opinion based on what I read in the Bible. Others have a different opinion reading the same Bible. But my opinion – or yours- is insignificant.

What is significant is my heart’s condition before a holy God. What is significant is my witness, my love for my neighbors, my light in a dark world. The question is not will I sit in judgment over my fellow man, but will I wear Jesus’ righteousness as I personally stand before God? It’s not the size of the crown on my head, but the grace of God that allows me to be in his presence.

Jesus says no one knows when he will return. (Mark 13) All we need to know is that it is going to happen. And all Jesus wants us to do is watch. And pray. He’ll take care of the details.

And that’s ok with me.

Dear Jesus, Thank you for the assurance that you are coming again to claim me once and for all. Forgive us for the lines that are drawn because of insignificant opinions about “the end times.” May we not neglect the more important thing, life right now, our relationship with you today, and what we do in Jesus’ name to lead another lost soul to the Savior. May we all rejoice in your promise to return, may we be faithful workers, watching and praying until that trumpet sounds.

October 30

Matthew 23:37-39, 24:1-28; Mark 12:41-44, 13:1-23; Luke 21:1-24

When people talk like the “last days” are something in the future I wonder. As I read what Jesus said about the end of the age I recognize things that happened in the first century and in every day since then. Ask the Christians in Egypt today what they think about a Great Tribulation.

There have always been wars and rumors of wars, famines and earthquakes, and liars claiming to be God. The first century Christians were tortured for their faith. They fled for their lives. Christians founded the Untied States of America because of persecution.

Are things going to get worse than they’e been? It undoubtedly will for us who live in the US. But there are brothers and sisters in other parts of the world who fear for their lives today because they love the Lord.

Here’s what I get out of the passages we read here. Matthew 24:27 promises us Jesus is coming again! He didn’t abandon us when he went to the Father.  “As lightening that comes for the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.”

He tells us life as a Christian on the earth won’t be easy. Bad things happen. But God wants to use even the bad to enable us to be witnesses of his great love and grace. He is all about winning the last willing soul.

But take heart. Jesus is going to come out of the heavens on that glorious day. We who know him will forever be with him. The cares and trials of this world will be behind us and we will experience God in his fullness for the very first time. Face to face. 

Now that’s a future to get excited about!

July 30

Jeremiah 22:1-17; 2 Kings 23:31-37; 2 Chronicles 36:2-5; Habakkuk 1:1-3:19

Lord, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, O Lord. Renew them in our day, in our time make them known; in wrath remember mercy.

Recently I have had conversations with Christians who have expressed concern over the future of our world. We have seen freedoms chipped away in the US. There is war over water in over-populated countries. Food shortages. Poverty. The acceptance of sin in society which Christians know can only bring God’s wrath.

I don’t know what the future holds for us who live on planet Earth. I look at my sister’s grandchildren and could go crazy worrying about what’s ahead for them should the Lord not return. The Bible tells us things will continue to erode until that day.

But then I read things like Habakkuk 3:2 and I remember Who it is that holds the future. There is so much evidence of God’s love, his care and protection not only in the pages of the Bible but in history books and in the lives of people I know.

God is still on the throne. He is so much greater than Satan. And, although life will undoubtedly get more difficult, God promises to go with his children every step of the way.

May God’s deeds be made known to our world in 2013. May he renew them in our day.

Remember mercy, dear God. We’re depending on You.