Yesterday a friend and I talked on Facebook about all the horrible things going on in the world and she commented: “Seriously I do wonder if we’re now living in the end times. The world is in a dreadful state and it is just getting worse.”
I said, “I used to think that, but – at least from what I read – globally before and during WWII things were a lot worse.
Some days I wonder why God is still waiting and wish he’d just end it already. Other days I’m grateful he’s not, because it gives everyone more opportunities to both spread and understand the truth.
I feel selfish by wanting it to end, because it’s coming from a place of fear in that I don’t want to see my nation fall, or for my good life to end.
I have to constantly remind myself that God is still in control. Even if there are hardships I can’t even imagine to come, I know eternity with God awaits me.
I just hope I continue to have the wherewithal to show God’s love to others, but I sometimes (often) wonder why I bother since so many hearts are hardened against him.
At least that’s how it seems. I could easily be wrong about that. I’ll never know when my words or deeds will influence someone the right way. Jesus didn’t give up, God hasn’t given up. Nor should I, because then I am no good to him or those who need him.”
I’ve heard a few people express concern that Christians are about to enter an era of persecution in Western countries including the United States.
I often wonder the same thing, especially recently, but then I thought, are trials and persecutions a bad thing — at least as far as the Kingdom of God is concerned?
In all instances when people tried to eliminate Christians and Christianity, it has instead resulted in explosive growth. Today, the highest percentage of Christian expansion is occurring in China and other oppressive regimes where it’s supposed to be illegal.
It’s easy to stand up with the faithless when they’re all standing. Not so much when they all sit down. That’s when the faithful are noticed. It’s frightening to be singled out and take the risk of being vilified at best or killed at worst.
But that doesn’t mean we should sit down. It’s in the times when the faithless sit that we must stand up taller. If we don’t then we have fallen prey to our own fears; we prove our own faithlessness, and even distrust of God’s promises.
I’m reminded of the book of Daniel. After Nebuchadnezzar built his 90′ golden statue, all people from every nation were required to bow down to worship it. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego refused. They stood up when everyone else bowed. The King noticed and demanded they be thrown into a fiery furnace. Because of their faithfulness, the fires didn’t touch them, and the King and all his men bowed down to worship God. Sure, their faith led them into the furnace, but it also led them back out again.
God loves paradox. He uses our weaknesses to show his strength. He uses the darkest moments in our lives to reveal his grace, his love and his promises.
He uses the world’s attempt to kill Christianity in order to further his Kingdom.
We must be part of that, otherwise our own faith is meaningless, and we are literally no earthly good.
Therefore, do not be afraid of future trials and tribulations. Don’t fret about governments’ attempts at restraining our faith. Welcome them, because it’s at those times people will see Jesus most clearly. Our mortal lives and comfort should be the smallest price we have to pay to help accomplish it.