What do we see the world placing their faith (or lack of it) in? When man lets man down, outrage ensues. When the institutions, actions, and hearts of humanity fail to deliver, all hell on earth breaks loose ~ and then some. Lots of little irritants add up to create pain.
And it begins ~ (Pervasive and relentless pain that seems to be getting worse all the time)
We are not yet at the end of things as they exist today ~ but birth pangs give one a very strong taste of what the final push might look like, dear friends. The process is not pretty. It’s excruciating, even. But the end will come ~ and the result is beautiful.
Are we entering the transitional phase?
At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other...Matt 24:10
The deceivers will come ~ the ones who pretend that they will save the day. They will prey upon and pounce all over the disappointed. worn out and angry souls. They will make their feel-good promises, all for a turn at being heard. They will tell their little lies.
In times of immense stress, weakness is there and will try to take over everything. People listen to anything that sounds reasonable during such times. People even turn on one another for that which will soothe them in this very moment.
This is the time that we might wish to turn back ~ we may want to run. But the plan is in motion already.
It is beyond critical that we tune our ears and listen to the right voice!
The real truth tellers will be shunned ~ sent to reside in the shadow of the lawless and loveless ones. The gray will seem to grow and grow, but the reality of the black and white is actually still there. Others try to redefine it. But the Word is the Word.
People will tell us there is no right or wrong – that it’s all “relative.” But there will be ~ it just won’t be the truth. We will be told that if we don’t accept their version of truth, we are evil. Much will be marked by lack of love, twisting of truth and an abundance of hate and apathy for that which is of Christ.
Chaos has a way of causing numbness eventually.
Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold…Matt 24:12
It will be hard ~ very, very hard to stand strong in and for Christ in these times. It will be difficult to be less-than paralyzed by the gray ~ the lukewarm ~ the dark and the wickedness. The pain will be palpable. The savvy soothers will be tempting us at every turn.
Yet even in the midst of feeling numb or unable to move, we must stand firm. We must test the spirits. We must remember the Word and the truth about Jesus and consistently allow it to prick us and poke us to keep us vigilant. We must never lose sight during the worst of the birth pangs, contractions, and searing pain, that there is the ultimate and most blessed hope awaiting us.
We can only do it in Christ’s strength. Never on our own. He will be what helps us to stand strong. Only Him.
It’s really happening ~ and there will be a happy ending for some.
But he who stands firm to the end will be saved. Matt 24:13
And there will still be those who crave. There will still be those who will listen. There will seem to be few left who wish to hear about His love, His truth and the salvation He offers to each and every one of us. They may be hiding, but they are listening. We need to keep telling His story.
They shall be found. He knows who they are. They shall be found and they shall be treasured.
Birth and the bringing of new life is a beautiful, yet painful thing. But treasure is found along the way.
And just when hearts feel they have broken too many times over all that surrounds them ~ just when we think we have seen the pinnacle of wickedness, lovelessness, hatred, brother against brother, and more, what looks like the worst of the worst will rear it’s ugly head.
And those left are admonished to flee.
And we are crowning ~ the pushing will hurt. But the Lord will help His own to endure.
So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel–let the reader understand– then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains…Matt 24:14
We may not know for sure when, but we do know it will happen. And It will be sweeping ~ it will be vast ~ it will be overwhelming and surprising and painful and beautiful and powerful beyond words. There will be no question any longer about what it happening. Magnificent beauty is about to rip upon the scene and fill the dark spaces with light.
As much as we know the result from the pain of childbirth is a reality, the pain in the process often still takes us by surprise. But Jesus prepares our hearts. He emphasizes that we would do well not to forget.
He admonishes us to watch. To remember. He does so over and over again throughout scripture.
But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son,[f] but only the Father. 37 As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; 39 and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. Matt 24: 36-39
And because we do not know the day nor the hour, are we to just sit back and wait passively? Is this an empty, daunting hope we wait upon, or one we are to be active participants in looking for with joy? It’s going to happen either way ~ but preparations most certainly matter.
Jesus says it does. He says it matters that we watch, expect, wait in an eager way.
He also tells us not to miss out on living out life now with Him right beside us as we watch for His return.
“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.43 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him. Matt 24:42-44
The pain exists, friends….. and there’s no way to run from that. We shall see things that break our hearts. We may mourn for those who continue to refuse Him. We may dread the ugly part of this beyond glorious and beautiful story that He has written long, long ago.
But we must remember. We must never forget to remember that as hard as the pains may be ~ as taunting and daunting as the relentless squeezing is ~ there is a beautiful end to this earthly story ~the one that’s the beginning of our real life, divine, and perfect story.
It’s the ending that is just the beginning. And Jesus has not forgotten that.
Jesus has not forgotten US.
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust God, trust also in Me. In my Father’s house there are many rooms, if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back, and take you to be with me, that you also may be where I am.” John 14:1-3
Are you ready for the crowning part?
He is coming ~ soon and very soon.