Signs of the times
By Teresa A. LeNeave
People are afraid of a lot of things and with good reason. If you listen to people talk, or watch the news, you know people are concerned about nuclear attacks, terrorism in our streets, corruption in government, prices of health insurance (or no coverage), economic woes, and a dozen other things.
Just recently a car slammed into a group of demonstrators in Charlottesville, VA killing one person and injuring 19 more. All the violence in our world reminds me of an old song that says, "Signs of the times are everywhere". It never rings more true than today with so much violence around us.
What does the Bible say about the end times? What are some signs we can look for?
Jesus said there would be "wars and rumors of wars"; nation would rise against nation; there would be famines, pestilences (sudden fatal epidemic), and earthquakes in various places ... this would be just the beginning of sorrows. Matthew 24.
What does all this mean to the believer in Christ? If you want comfort, read Psalm 91 because it is filled with descriptive promises to the one who dwells in Christ. It says, "He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. Surely he shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover you with his feathers, and under his wings shall you trust ... You shall not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flies by day".
In today's world, we seek security from dangers that are too close for comfort. I believe God, our Creator, is our place of security because he promised to never leave or forsake us. Ps 50:15 says, "Call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me".
I've known the terror of paralyzing fear, but I also have known the comfort of God's protection. I remember a time when I was devastated by debilitating circumstances in my life that I could do absolutely nothing about. One night while praying for God's help, I felt what I can only describe as "a glass dome" sitting over me. I knew it was the presence of God. Somehow, I got through those dark days. The problems didn't disappear immediately, but with God's help I had the strength and courage to get through it. From experience, I know God delivers his children.
There was a time when Nebuchadnezzar commanded all the people to fall down and worship a golden image of him. The three Hebrew children said, "No" they would not worship the image, but God only. They said, "The God we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace and out of your hand ... but if not, if he doesn't ... we still won't worship the image." The king was enraged and had them thrown, bound and fully clothed, into the fire. They fell down when they hit the flames, but when they stood up there was four men walking around in that fire! Surprised, King Nebuchadnezzar cried, "the form of the fourth man is like the Son of God!" (Read the full story in Daniel chapter 3).
God may not take us from the fire, but he will walk with us through it. Isaiah 43: 2-3, says, "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God ..."
Serving God is a win-win situation. Are you experiencing a need for change? Could it be that God is stirring up your nest so you'll draw closer to him?
In times of fear and when trouble is all around; when there is division at every turn: there is someone who's bigger and more powerful. It is Jesus and he is able to deliver. If we humble ourselves and call upon his Name, he is ready, willing, and able to take care of us. Until he returns, there will be trouble in the world, but we don't live in a state of fear. When your soul feels like it's in the midst of lions, trust the One who can deliver. When there is nowhere else to turn, turn to Jesus. He'll be your friend. In times like these, we need a Savior.