|On a large scale basis, the world has seen an extended time of relative peace and prosperity. Of course, there are still many conflicts and many areas where believers are killed for their faith. But the world as a whole has not been at war since World War II. This is almost seventy years of relative peace and prosperity across the globe. The history of man, however, has been the rise and fall of empires as stronger armies come in or a nation-state grows complacent and weakens from the inside. Even in the time of King David, it was routine for nations to go to war seasonally to secure their borders and their place in the world (2 Samuel 11:1). The evil, sinful heart of man that craves more power, more money, and more influence means that constant fear, intimidation, and instability is part and parcel to the world in which we live. How can the believer have peace and hope when it seems that freedom, life, and liberty are threatened and life as we know it might be about to change?
As destabilizing threats increase, here are four Scriptural truths to keep in mind during times of great upheaval so that we can remain spiritually stable, morally uncompromised, filled with joy, kept in peace, and brimming with hope.
#1Those who remain focused on Christ and believe His promises will be guarded in perfect peace by Christ Himself.
“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” (Isaiah 26:3 KJV)
When things around us begin to destabilize, we can really lose focus if we are not careful. If we want to be at peace, we must keep our minds fixed upon Christ and His promises to us, believing them to the utmost. If we look only to the threats around us, we will likely falter and become dismayed. We must recall the Word of God, the power of our Lord, and His good promises to us. He, Who is in complete control, is the only One Who can keep us at peace.
#2Our hope is that we have entered the veil with Christ to be with Him forever in heaven, and this is our anchor of the soul, a sure and steadfast encouragement.
“So that by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have taken refuge would have strong encouragement to take hold of the hope set before us. This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil.” (Hebrews 6:18-19)
We as believers have a hope that transcends this life. God never promised that this life would be easy or that we would be kept from pain and hardship (John 16:33). Just ask Jesus about the cross, Job about loss, the Old Testament prophets about persecution, or the disciples about martyrdom. Our hope is not in a politician’s charismatic, but empty, promises. Our hope is not that we will be rich one day and live a life of ease. Rather, our hope is that God loves us, will keep us, will provide for our needs, will comfort us in our affliction, and will never leave or forsake us. We can trust Him to give us calm during the storms of this world. Though the waves crash and threaten, we have an anchor, and the anchor holds. We will enter heaven one day. There is no greater hope than that.
#3Life is short, so don’t despair; rather, make it count for the glory of God.
“As for the days of our life, they contain seventy years, Or if due to strength, eighty years, Yet their pride is but labor and sorrow; For soon it is gone and we fly away.” (Psalm 90:10)
I believe that God limiting our lives on this earth to seventy or eighty years on average is evidence of His grace. He knows that sin has marred this world, the creation, and our bodies. He knows that sorrow is very much a part of this life. Thankfully, there are many good things, too, many graces of God to enjoy (e.g. Ecclesiastes 5:18,9:9, Acts 2:42-47, Psalm 127:3). But the thing for us to remember is that we have a very short window to carry out God’s plan for our lives, and rewards in eternity will be dictated upon our faithfulness in this short timeframe. The more we are mindful of how brief this life is, being but a vapor that is here and then vanishes away (James 4:14), the more we will be interested and driven by laying up treasure in heaven that will not rust, decay, or be vulnerable to thieves (Matthew 6:19-20). As we labor with a heavenly purpose, we can look forward to that day when we will fly away to eternal bliss.
#4In heaven, there will be no more grief, sorrow, death, or pain. So endure to the end, for the end is worth it all.
“And He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:4)
In heaven, there will be no more broken bones, no more infections, no more diseases, no more handicaps, no more dying, and no more grieving because the first things will have passed away. For now, God knows how much we have cried, keeping our tears in a bottle (Psalm 56:8). Then, He will wipe them all away. If that is not a word of encouragement, I don’t know what is.
Hope is a rare and priceless commodity, but the believer has an infinite supply. Through Christ we can have perfect peace, a meaningful existence, a right perspective, and an enduring hope. Let us not forget the big picture as the storms of this world gain strength.
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